Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson admits dismal St Johnstone defeat was bad day at office



Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson insists too many of his players did not show up in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to St Johnstone.

The Tynecastle outfit lost only their third game at home as they failed to get going against a spirited Saints outfit.

Murray Davidson had Tommy Wright’s side two ahead inside 21 minutes after twice heading in Liam Craig corners before Darnell Fisher added a third in the 88th minute.

robbieneilsonThe defeat was all the more surprising given that Hearts had been on a four-game run without conceding a goal.

Neilson said: “It was disappointing. We had been doing really well recently but we’re not good enough to win games when we have five or six players that don’t perform.

“We didn’t quite hit the mark. We’re still young, we’re still inexperienced and a we were a bit naive at times.

“It was two set plays, two goals. We pride ourselves on our defensive record and we’ve not lost a lot recently.

“That’s the frustrating thing for me that we never gave up a lot of chances from open play, it was two balls into the box that we should dealt with and we don’t.

“We don’t want to lose games, we shouldn’t be getting beat 3-0 at home, that’s it, end of story. The three goals were poor.”

Hearts’ misery was compounded by the fact they missed the chance to close the nine point gap on second place Aberdeen after the Dons were also beaten at Motherwell.

Neilson added: “We try to look after ourselves first but then you come in after the game and see other results.

“You can look at it both ways, we haven’t lost any ground on them but we haven’t gained any either.

“It was an opportunity to gain ground but it’s a big game in a fortnight now at Celtic and we have to get ready.

“We just weren’t at the races, we tried to change things, move things about with formation and personnel but we just couldn’t get that spark.

“St Johnstone made it difficult for us and we couldn’t get any quality that we need.”