Robbie Neilson feels belief has to be cornerstone for Hearts success at Celtic
Robbie Neilson insists belief has to be the cornerstone for any Hearts success at Celtic Park on Wednesday night.
The Viaplay Cup winners are flying high at the top of the cinch Premiership with a nine-point lead over Old Firm rivals Rangers and face the Jambos in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals this weekend after their league meeting in midweek.
Hearts boss Neilson was pleased with his third-placed side’s 3-0 win over St Johnstone at the weekend following defeat to Motherwell in their previous outing, but knows a match against Ange Postecoglou’s relentless side, who are 31 points ahead of the Edinburgh outfit, is another proposition.
“Firstly, it was good to get three points,” said Neilson, who is keen for Robert Snodgrass and Josh Ginnelly to remain at Tynecastle next season.
“We have had a really good run of form before a wee blip so getting back is great.
“A different challenge on Wednesday night. Obviously Parkhead is always a difficult place to go but with the belief we have in the group and the players as a whole, we take confidence into that game.
“The big thing for me is the belief.
“Belief in yourself as a player and then belief in the group that when we go there – we won’t control the whole game – but we have to control periods of it and when we do we have to make the right decision.
“When you go to these environments that is the key, belief and then decision-making when we get the ball.
“We know what we need to do, we just have to implement that.”
Neilson is already looking ahead to next season and hopes 35-year-old midfielder Snodgrass and 25-year-old attacker Ginnelly, who are out of contract in the summer, can be persuaded to stay in Gorgie.
He said: “We are still working away. There are a few that we want to keep.
“I have spoken to Snoddy and it is really down to him because of the age he is at and where his family are based, but I would love to keep him here because he has been outstanding.
“Gino has done outstandingly well for us, especially playing in that attacking role, so he is another one that we are talking to. It can take a bit of time to get over the line but I would like to see him here this season.”