Hearts boss explains striker’s absence

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Hearts manager Robbie Neilson admits he is hoping to have Armand Gnanduillet back for Saturday’s visit of Morton after the striker missed the draw in Dumfries with a hamstring strain.

The towering Frenchman has notched two goals in his opening four appearances since joining from Turish side Altay SK last month but sat out Friday’s 1-1 stalemate at Queen of the South.

Hearts rescued a point from the game with a late penalty from marksman Liam Boyce, who took his tally for the campaign to 13 goals.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson speaks to media after Dundee loss | Hearts news
Neilson’s Hearts rescued a point in Dumfries

But Nelson is hoping to have more options at his disposal in the final third this weekend.

He said: “Armand had a tight hamstring, we just thought going down to play on that pitch, we were considering going with one up top anyway. 

“We thought it was best to rest him for it and not take any risks.

“We expect him back training this week. 

“It would have been good to be able to call on him but we have to remember that Armand didn’t play a lot at the start of the season in Turkey. 

“He came into us at the end of January, he hadn’t trained since the start of December and we have to be careful that when he does get these wee niggles that we don’t push him too hard because we don’t want him to be out for an extended period.”

Neilson is looking forward to getting back on grass at Tynecastle after claiming Queens’ artificial surface stifled his side in attacking areas.

He added: “I thought Aaron McEneff did really well when he came on. 

“I felt for Gervane (Kastaneer), because the surface makes it really difficult to go one-v-one, it’s all about knocking balls in behind and I think we’ll see more of him when we get back on a good surface.”