BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson insists the fact that his players are devastated after a 2-1 defeat to Celtic illustrates how far they have come since the dark days of administration.
The Tynecastle outfit narrowly lost out in the quarter-finals of the League Cup on Wednesday.
Celtic opened up a commanding lead through Leigh Griffiths and Tom Rogic after the break before Hearts substitute Arnaud Djoum headed in an injury-time consolation.
Neilson, whose side return to Premiership action away to Partick Thistle on Saturday, said: “It’s disappointing, I thought we played really well. We didn’t look like we were going to concede for long periods of the game.
“Our quality probably could have been better on the counter-attack when we broke because we had opportunities to do it.
“We’ve come a long way in 18 months, the club came out of administration and got promoted to the top-league. We’re sitting here devastated after getting a 2-1 defeat to Celtic.
“Celtic are holding on at the end desperate to get the win and it shows how far we’ve come. We want to continue to build and grow and we’ll do that.
“The players are magnificent for me, young guys like Callum Paterson, Sam Nicholson, Billy King, Jordan McGhee – guys like that that have come through the academy.”