Hearts boss confident weekend’s game will go ahead following Covid-19 disruption

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Hearts manager Robbie Neilson admits he is confident Saturday’s scheduled visit of Raith Rovers will go ahead.

Rovers had their weekend clash at home to Inverness postponed last Friday after a Covid-19 outbreak among the club’s players and staff meant they were unable to fulfil the fixture.

The Gorgie side had no such problems as they stretched their lead at the Championship summit to seven points over Dunfermline with a comfortable 3-1 victory at Alloa.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson speaks to media after Dundee loss | Hearts news
Hearts are set to welcome Raith on Saturday

The game against Raith is the first of a double header after a league match pencilled in before Christmas had to be moved due to Hearts’ involvement in the Scottish Cup final against Celtic.

Hearts are due to travel to Stark’s Park next Tuesday and Neilson believes both games will take place.

He said: “We expect it to go ahead, the voices and the noises coming out of there is that they will have players back.

“So we’ll prepare as normal, we play them back to back and we’ll look to pick up six points in it.”

Raith also hope to be able to play the game after reinforcing their Covid-19 protocols.

A club statement read: “Raith Rovers have been co-operating fully with numerous partners and agencies in relation to the recent Covid-19 outbreak.

“Working alongside them, the club have undertaken additional measures and have been doing all that is required in keeping all staff safe.

“We look forward to playing in Saturday’s fixture against Hearts at Tynecastle.”

Hearts boss Neilson is anticipating a busy schedule coming up, with all football below the Championship having been suspended for three weeks last Monday.

Hearts still have a Scottish Cup second round tie against Brora Rangers to negotiate, with Stranraer awaiting the winners in the third round.

And Neilson, whose team returned to action for the first time in over a fortnight at the Indodrill stadium following cup postponements, admits he expects every player in his squad to be utilised in the coming weeks.

Speaking to Hearts TV, he added: “We trained right through, we worked hard and we used that period to get some fitness into them, especially the boys coming back.

“It’s about managing the group because with the cancellations there are going to be a lot of games coming up in a short period of time, hence the reason we made quite a few chances on Saturday to give these guys game time.”