Robbie Neilson right to drop Tony Watt & Conor Sammon, insists ex-Hearts captain Michael Stewart

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FORMER Hearts skipper Michael Stewart has backed Robbie Neilson’s decision to ring the changes up front for the Jambos at the weekend.

With the preferred partnership of Tony Watt and Connor Sammon yielding just one goal each from 12 appearances, head coach Neilson opted tor a different tact against Inverness Caley Thistle on Saturday.

Bjorn Johnsen and Robbie Muirhead were paired together in the Highlands and Johnsen made it two goals in three games when he pulled one back with Hearts’ first goal in the 3-3 draw.

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Watt and Sammon were both signed in the summer and were expected to lead the Tynecastle side’s attack this term but Stewart believes Neilson was right to bench the misfiring duo.

He said: “They’ve certainly not set the heather on fire with the number of goals they’ve scored, Watt and Sammon.

“And I think the change was inevitable.

“There was a definite improvement. They scored three goals, the team collectively, and I think as a whole they looked more threatening in the final third.”

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Hearts came back from 2-0 down and 3-2 behind to snatch a point against Inverness to stay in fourth spot in the Premiership table.

But, with just one point separating Rangers in second from St Johnstone in fifth, Stewart believes his old club will have their sights firmly set on finishing runners-up to Celtic this term.

The 35-year-old added on BBC Scotland: “Hearts I think, on the whole, will be happy with the way the season has gone so far.

“But they’ll be looking to continue to push for second place.”

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