Neilson Expects Every Man To Do His Duty
Hearts are heading for their worst SPL finish since 1994 unless they can pick up all three points on offer at Kilmarnock on Saturday and then have their fingers crossed that results elsewhere go their way. Defender Robbie Neilson is keen to avoid a "meaningless" end to a poor season. Hearts are currently level on points with Aberdeen in seventh place, both a point behind Falkirk going into the final game before the split. The Edinburgh side have a better goal difference than Aberdeen but still need to win at Rugby Park to keep their hopes alive. They will then be looking to Aberdeen beating Falkirk when they meet at Pittodrie on Monday night in front of the TV cameras. John Hughes' Falkirk remain in the driving seat but travel to Pittodrie in the knowledge that they have not won in the north-east for 50 years. Neilson is Hearts' longest-serving player and is keen to finish a poor season on a high. He has called on his colleagues to to pull out all the stops to maintain the club's record of always finishing in the top six.
He said: "It's important for the players and the club financially if we make the top six, then we've got five big games as opposed to unimportant games. It's better for the fans to be coming to big games, playing against the Old Firm and Hibs. We don't want to just be wasting away the last five to six weeks of the season playing meaningless games. We've been a little bit inconsistent and lacking confidence, so it's come together to make it a disappointing season. We don't want to be in the same situation next year, we'd rather be up at the top of the league challenging. But we've got to stay positive. We need to win on Saturday, hope that Aberdeen can do us a turn and then we can make the top six. Then hopefully we can build for next season."
Neilson would rather Falkirk and Aberdeen were also playing on Saturday. The Pittodrie fixture has been moved to Monday for the live television cameras, but Neilson is happy to concentrate on what he and his teammates can do. He said: "Obviously, we'd have preferred the game to be the same time, but that's the way football is nowadays. We've known for a while the game is Monday and we've just got to deal with it. Hopefully we get a win to put some pressure on Falkirk."
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