Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson lauds attacking options

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BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport

HEARTS head coach Robbie Neilson reckons the Jambos boast an embarrassment of riches in attack – but has not ruled out bolstering his midfield ahead of tonight’s transfer deadline.

Tony Watt has been a smash hit since making the switch to Gorgie on a season-long loan from Charlton and, following a string of bright showings, got off the mark with a last-gasp winner against Partick Thistle on Saturday.

Conor Sammon lead the line admirably in the 2-1 triumph at Firhill, while Neilson reckons he has finally captured a like-for-like replacement for Osman Sow in the form of towering American Bjorn Johnsen.

Robbie Neilson RiccartonNeilson also has the promising Robbie Muirhead and Juanma, should the latter choose to stay at Tynecastle and fight for his place, as back-up if the capital club are chasing the game.

And the Hearts gaffer believes his front-line is in fine fettle for another campaign challenging towards the summit of the Scottish Premiership.

“We have options and they all have different things they can bring to the team,” lauded Neilson. “I felt once Osman [Sow] left last season we lacked those options.

“We had Gavin [Reilly] and we had [Abiola] Dauda, but when we looked to the bench there was nobody to change games. We needed competition and I feel we have a good squad with good quality.

“The challenge for me is, if someone leaves to replace them with better quality. Every year there has been a big transition in the squad but the squad has always come up a level.

“Strength in depth is a huge advantage for us. So to have the option of changing it during the match like we did makes a huge difference.”

With options to spare in the final third, Neilson confirmed “at the moment, we are pretty strong in terms of strikers” as the transfer window prepares to slam shut, however that does not mean there will be no business in Gorgie.

Neilson is keen to snap up a left-sided midfielder, while Prince Buaben could yet exit the club after falling down the pecking order. Hearts have agreed to allow Ross County speak to the player but terms are yet to be agreed.

Hearts will also listen to offers for Juwon Oshaniwa and Juanma prior to tonight’s deadline.

“I’m still looking to recruit on the left hand side of midfield,” continued Neilson. “But it’s all about getting value for money.

“And, any players could go. You could get offers for anyone. So it might be the case that a player goes and we have to go out and look at a replacement.”

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