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Huge Test for Robbie Neilson


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lost in space

I am delighted with our start to the season. Fantastic signings - AND positive tactics from our manager, home and away.

I have never been a fan of Neilson as a coach due to his "possession without progression" tactics and didnt think he would last until xmas - but he does seem to have changed our playing style.  He certainly deserves credit and the fans backing for his league tactics this season, until now.

So far though, all of our league games against the bigger clubs (Celtic, Aberdeen, Hobos) have been at home - where we have performed well and attacked when we could.

The only away game against a top team has been the League Cup game against Celtic (losing 3-2). The result flattered us and our first half performance was one of the worst ever.

 

SO, this Saturday is a HUGE test for Neilson - will he return to the chicken hearted tactics of before?  Or will he show confidence in the present squad and push forward?

 

I dont think anybody expects us to attack for 90 minutes but I (and most fans surely) will want us to "have a go" without being suicidal. 

I dont expect a win. We might not even draw - but if we go out, trying to impose ourselves / show confidence / actually get players into the Sevco box and make chances + have shots on goal, he will go a long way in getting the doubters (like me) behind him.

 

i havnt been a fan of our manager but I could become one.

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He's definitely won me around quite considerably. I was never really anti-Neilson to begin with however the way he left last time and the ability to split the fans made me think he was a bad appointment and I'd have been happy to see him go at the end of last year. He didn't, and he's turned things around quite spectacularly, so massive congratulations on that from me, I was wrong. This game is a turning point though for me, go there and play to win and I'll get fully on board the Nielson train regardless of the outcome. Go there and sit deep, concede 1 and then 2/3/4 after we're forced to go chasing the game then I remain where I am on him. Happy with what he's achieving but convinced he's not the long term solution.

 

I'm hoping I'll be fully, 100% in the Robbie Neilson fan club come the end of the match.

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upgotheheads

You could put some asterisks up and make this thread Offishul.🙂

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jambopilms

There is no chance we are going to dominate the ball against them, they had something like 75% of the ball against Hibs. If we can defend well with no daft mistakes and use the ball well when we do have it we can get a result.

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Mikey1874

We started out quite cautious, maybe trying to be solid. Aberdeen notably where we hardly created anything.

 

Its sharper, more direct now. I think there is a risk in this game of getting a bit overwhelmed. But hopefully they have learnt from the Celtic league cup game. Get Woodburn, McKay on the ball and put pressure on their defence. 

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jambo-in-furness

 

 

we need only to “give them a game” 

I watched Hibs play there and to be fair,  until they had a man sent off,  they were the better team.

I expect and want Hearts to go there and at least try to win and not as we usually do in Glasgow, play not to lose.

Take the game to them Robbie and if we lose, we lose with dignity.

 

That is,  depending of course on the referee being fair,  another thing we never get in Glasgow.

Edited by jambo-in-furness
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Hackney Hearts
6 minutes ago, jambopilms said:

they had something like 75% of the ball against Hibs. 

 

I don't know the answer to this, but did they have 75% possession in the first 30 minutes when Hibs had 11 players on the pitch?

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This is our first real 6 pointer of the season.

 

Be disappointing to lose it.  Come on Robbie. 

 

Do the business in this one and everyone will be on side

 

Ever the optimist😍

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Vlad Magic

If there is even a sniff of us getting a result through there the ref will step in.

 

Happened so many times it’s become predictable. 

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Said on the “no changes” thread last week that you need to go toe to toe a little at some point to see where you are. We’ve been here many many times though.  
 

All full of hope but our manager at that moment goes all cautious, changes shape completely, puts square pegs in round holes and it ends up a stuffy, subdued performance. 
 

Neilson has won there though.  He needs to express belief in our positive attacking abilities and give players that extra 10% in their heads that they can hurt Rangers.  I think we’ve got the pace around the team now to push onto them at the right times, the pace to recover when the ball breaks down. 
 

The players part is not going into their shell.  Being courageous and trying to play the way they have been individually of late. Energy and sharp play. 

 

 

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If it were at Tynie at fancy us to beat them but away at Ibrox with the appalling record we have there I wouldn't expect us to win.

A point would be excellent but I just hope we put in a good performance and give them a game. 

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35 minutes ago, Taffin said:

He's definitely won me around quite considerably. I was never really anti-Neilson to begin with however the way he left last time and the ability to split the fans made me think he was a bad appointment and I'd have been happy to see him go at the end of last year. He didn't, and he's turned things around quite spectacularly, so massive congratulations on that from me, I was wrong. This game is a turning point though for me, go there and play to win and I'll get fully on board the Nielson train regardless of the outcome. Go there and sit deep, concede 1 and then 2/3/4 after we're forced to go chasing the game then I remain where I am on him. Happy with what he's achieving but convinced he's not the long term solution.

 

I'm hoping I'll be fully, 100% in the Robbie Neilson fan club come the end of the match.

 

Pretty much where I am at.  Good post, IMO.

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A_A wehatethehibs

He hasn’t changed our playing style that much IMO, more the personnel that’s changed. 

 

The issue last season was, bad players. For example like White, Berra, Wighton etc still hanging about, and cheaper lower quality players Frear, Popescu etc were signed. But of course those signings weren’t going to be that good because the likes of Beni, Devlin, Moore, Cochrane etc - are these types of quality players signing for Scottish championship side? No chance. So that transitional season ended up just about getting a few bodies in to get the job done.

 

Now that Neilson has been able to recruit these better quality of players which he’s said all along was what was needed, look where the performances have gone. Upwards. But stylistically it is the same Neilson, control and domination of the midfield and possession, allows your creative guys time and space to think. We take some risks but not unnecessary ones, he always wants composed decisions, if it’s not on recycle the possession and go again. 

 

I don’t think we need to be looking to go gung-ho there, if we can keep it tight, we give ourselves every chance. I do not want to see us change the formation. We’ve already seen that at parkhead and it didn’t work so there is no justification for trying it again. Stick with our 3-4-3, we will not dominate possession but we will IMO get some good spells of it, so just need to use it well, play our game and see how the cards fall, take a chance or 2 and who knows we could become the cat amongst the pigeons in this division. I think it will be much the same as our league games against Celtic Aberdeen and Hibs, a tight game. A win would be magic and people would start really dreaming, but if we can come out still unbeaten then for me, it’s a good result at this stage in the season. 

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Toughest game, but I think we might sneak it. Rangers will come at us so I reckon Neilson will set us up with an additional midfield (Haring) in a 3-5-2 and we'll make good use of counter attacks.

 

Referee will play a part as usual too.

 

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davemclaren
1 minute ago, kila said:

Toughest game, but I think we might sneak it. Rangers will come at us so I reckon Neilson will set us up with an additional midfield (Haring) in a 3-5-2 and we'll make good use of counter attacks.

 

Referee will play a part as usual too.

 

That’s how I see us starting the match. 

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We’ve already witnessed what can happen at Ibrox if you get on the front foot early just don’t give the ref any opportunity to change the game in their favour 

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Section Q
9 hours ago, jambopilms said:

There is no chance we are going to dominate the ball against them, they had something like 75% of the ball against Hibs. If we can defend well with no daft mistakes and use the ball well when we do have it we can get a result.

Disagree comrade. Take the game to them, shake them up and then play our own game.

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A_A wehatethehibs
2 minutes ago, kila said:

Toughest game, but I think we might sneak it. Rangers will come at us so I reckon Neilson will set us up with an additional midfield (Haring) in a 3-5-2 and we'll make good use of counter attacks.

 

Referee will play a part as usual too.

 


Desperately hoping he does not do that as 3-5-2 is actually 5-3-2 and it is the worst formation in football for giving your opposition anything to worry about.

 

Far as I’m concerned that formation is an invitation for Rangers to chuck an extra body, free of charge, into the attack exactly the same way as Celtic did. We need to give them something to think about at the back and make it more of a chess match. Helander is out, Balogun is potentially out, Goldson has had covid struggles. There’s a soft underbelly there that we need to get them thinking about early on in the game.

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Just go for the win. Play our tried and trusted formation and tactics that have us undefeated and a point off top spot. If we don’t go for it then how will we ever know how good we actually are? Be brave, 3-4-3 with our best players on the park. If that’s not good enough then so be it. 

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A feeble performance and a routine, tame defeat is the only thing that would disappoint me.

 

Don't wait until the 2nd half to get the tactics right when it's already too late. START with those tactics. It's a lesson Neilson, and Levein before him, never seem(ed) to learn.

 

I will not complain about a defeat if we've gone toe to toe, flung many punches and landed one or two.

 

Who knows, we might even win by doing that.

 

C'mon Neilson and Hearts.

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I don't think for a second he sent the players out against Celtic in the LC game to play how they played.  Celtic played really well and we shrunk: sat deep and off them and basically were hitting balls to nowhere.  It was a complete lack of belief and composure.

 

That said, that side of things is also Robbie's job, and he's been backed with recruitment, so this is "his team".

 

My biggest hope - as always with Robbie - is he doesn't overthink it and go tinkering.  Pick the same team that's done well recently, perhaps a like for like change here or there to bring in Souttar and there may be an argument for Ginnelly's pace.  But essentially send the message to the squad that they're doing well and he trusts plan A against anyone.  That's how you build confidence imo.  We go do OUR thing and if the boys come off the field having gone toe to toe and can be proud of it, we move on no matter the result.

 

Changing - especially to be more cautious - instantly sends the message our coach thinks we can't beat them imo

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Smith's right boot

It's not really. 

 

The big tests for me are saints and Aberdeen away. 

 

If rangers play well they could crush us. 

The have better, faster players and a team that has been built over 2 or 3 seasons, one that won the league last season and remained unbeaten. 

 

So it's actually big test for thier squad as they've dropped out of Europe, been beaten and dropped points at home in the league for the the first time in over a season. 

 

It's a free hit for us. 

We're newly promoted, many players have been together for weeks and we arrive in Glasgow confident and in good form. 

All the pressure is on rangers, it's their big test not ours. 

 

If we win it will be a surprise but likewise if we get smashed it will be disappointing. 

 

If the op needs a victory or performance in Glasgow over the arse cheeks to become a fan of Bob( what does that even mean?) then they may very well be disappointed. 

 

Results v the of in Glasgow would be a bonus but other games are the test for us and will define were we finish in the league this season. 

 

The performance in Glasgow won't define our season on it's own, for me Saints away and Aberdeen are the acid test. 

 

 

 

 

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Smith's right boot
11 minutes ago, TheBigO said:

I don't think for a second he sent the players out against Celtic in the LC game to play how they played.  Celtic played really well and we shrunk: sat deep and off them and basically were hitting balls to nowhere.  It was a complete lack of belief and composure.

 

That said, that side of things is also Robbie's job, and he's been backed with recruitment, so this is "his team".

 

My biggest hope - as always with Robbie - is he doesn't overthink it and go tinkering.  Pick the same team that's done well recently, perhaps a like for like change here or there to bring in Souttar and there may be an argument for Ginnelly's pace.  But essentially send the message to the squad that they're doing well and he trusts plan A against anyone.  That's how you build confidence imo.  We go do OUR thing and if the boys come off the field having gone toe to toe and can be proud of it, we move on no matter the result.

 

Changing - especially to be more cautious - instantly sends the message our coach thinks we can't beat them imo

 

 

Fair. 

 

However like many on here the opposition seems to be dismissed too lightly. 

 

Phrases like

Have a go

Push up

Press them

Attack them

Land a few punches 

Go toe to toe 

 

Etc are thrown about like they actually mean something. 

 

They don't and playing a clever counter attacking game that does rely on defending well and a bit deeper before using the ball intelligently is a  perfectly good game plan. 

 

Some Folk throwing these phrases about will not be happy ( despite what they say) if we do that and rangers score early and rip right through us and we're 3 or 4 down at ht. 

 

 

 

Edited by Smith's right boot
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upgotheheads

With Gordon in goal and our defence in good nick I think we'll be in the game right to the end (referee permitting). What happens up front for us will be crucial. I hope Gino, GMS and Barrie McKay are on song, if they are we have a real chance.

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Just now, Smith's right boot said:

 

 

Fair. 

 

However like many on here the opposition seems to be dismissed too lightly. 

 

Phrases like

Have a go

Push up

Press them

Attack them

Land a few punches 

Govtoe to toe 

 

Etc are thrown about like they actually mean something. 

 

They don't and playing a clever counter attacking game that does rely on defending well and a bit deeper before using the ball intelligently is a  perfectly good game plan. 

 

 

Some Folk throwing these phrases about will not be happy ( despite what they say) if we do that and rangers score early and rip right through us and we're 3 or 4 down at ht. 

 

 

 

Absolutely.  Like I said, Celtic played brilliantly well in that cup game.  Our reaction to it was poor though.

 

It's about standing up and being counted.  Have the confidence to get in their faces, to take the ball and to look to retain it and/or counter.  If a team is simply better than us, the sane amongst us will take it!

 

You of course have to box clever against a team with 10x your budget.  It's about - whatever the tactics - bravery and confidence in what we're doing.  Guys like Beni and Cam Devlin massive in that respect.  Don't see them as a pair shrinking.  And we've got a guy like Woodburn who could make something from nothing too - also important in a game like this.

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Juho_Makela_Goal_Machine

We've been at our best playing 3-4-3 this season, with it looking even more effective with both Beni and Devlin in the middle. It's essential he plays with both McKay and Woodburn to help us going forward, and you would have to sacrifice one of them to play Haring in the middle (or both and play with Gnando up with Boyce). For me, the team picks itself at the moment, regardless of who the opposition are. Haring seems like more of an in game adjustment depending on the situation.

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Walter Kidd

I'd have been happier if the International break didn't happen when it did.  However, same for both teams.  Keep it tidy at the back, expose Tavernier.  Not rocket science.

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Smith's right boot
2 minutes ago, TheBigO said:

Absolutely.  Like I said, Celtic played brilliantly well in that cup game.  Our reaction to it was poor though.

 

It's about standing up and being counted.  Have the confidence to get in their faces, to take the ball and to look to retain it and/or counter.  If a team is simply better than us, the sane amongst us will take it!

 

You of course have to box clever against a team with 10x your budget.  It's about - whatever the tactics - bravery and confidence in what we're doing.  Guys like Beni and Cam Devlin massive in that respect.  Don't see them as a pair shrinking.  And we've got a guy like Woodburn who could make something from nothing too - also important in a game like this.

 

 

For me it's all about what we do with the ball when we get it, and that's down to the players. 

 

Like you say at celtic we we're shite. 

 

We had opportunities to keep the ball and counter but if players forget how to pass and take a touch it's all gone to shite.

 

 

Celtic also played well 1st half, but at 2-1 we had a chance and were getting on top until Gordon gave the ball away in a daft position. 

Something we done far too often that day in general. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, lost in space said:

I am delighted with our start to the season. Fantastic signings - AND positive tactics from our manager, home and away.

I have never been a fan of Neilson as a coach due to his "possession without progression" tactics and didnt think he would last until xmas - but he does seem to have changed our playing style.  He certainly deserves credit and the fans backing for his league tactics this season, until now.

So far though, all of our league games against the bigger clubs (Celtic, Aberdeen, Hobos) have been at home - where we have performed well and attacked when we could.

The only away game against a top team has been the League Cup game against Celtic (losing 3-2). The result flattered us and our first half performance was one of the worst ever.

 

SO, this Saturday is a HUGE test for Neilson - will he return to the chicken hearted tactics of before?  Or will he show confidence in the present squad and push forward?

 

I dont think anybody expects us to attack for 90 minutes but I (and most fans surely) will want us to "have a go" without being suicidal. 

I dont expect a win. We might not even draw - but if we go out, trying to impose ourselves / show confidence / actually get players into the Sevco box and make chances + have shots on goal, he will go a long way in getting the doubters (like me) behind him.

 

i havnt been a fan of our manager but I could become one.

Out of interest, does anyone know Robbie's record against Rangers. It must surely be pretty decent !?! 

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3 minutes ago, damo said:

Out of interest, does anyone know Robbie's record against Rangers. It must surely be pretty decent !?! 

A quick wiki check...but I think its 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. 

 

2 wins at Tynie (2-0,2-0)

1 draw at Tynie (2-2)

1 win at Ibrox (2-1)

1 loss at Ibrox (2-1)

 

I'd say that's pretty good for any Hearts manager !

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Robbie's approach to this game will tell us a lot about the aspirations of this regime, it'll be a big message (the wrong one) if he changes it and tries to keep it 0-0 like we usually do in Glasgow. Set up as we have done the last few games will give the fans the confidence needed that he may be the right man to take us forward and maybe actually win something. Hibs were 1 0 quite easily, and tbh never looked like losing until the red card. Motherwell also should have won there, given the rangers goal was offside. 

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Mr Rabbit
1 hour ago, lost in space said:

I am delighted with our start to the season. Fantastic signings - AND positive tactics from our manager, home and away.

I have never been a fan of Neilson as a coach due to his "possession without progression" tactics and didnt think he would last until xmas - but he does seem to have changed our playing style.  He certainly deserves credit and the fans backing for his league tactics this season, until now.

So far though, all of our league games against the bigger clubs (Celtic, Aberdeen, Hobos) have been at home - where we have performed well and attacked when we could.

The only away game against a top team has been the League Cup game against Celtic (losing 3-2). The result flattered us and our first half performance was one of the worst ever.

 

SO, this Saturday is a HUGE test for Neilson - will he return to the chicken hearted tactics of before?  Or will he show confidence in the present squad and push forward?

 

I dont think anybody expects us to attack for 90 minutes but I (and most fans surely) will want us to "have a go" without being suicidal. 

I dont expect a win. We might not even draw - but if we go out, trying to impose ourselves / show confidence / actually get players into the Sevco box and make chances + have shots on goal, he will go a long way in getting the doubters (like me) behind him.

 

i havnt been a fan of our manager but I could become one.

I agree with all of that.

 

I hope we go with the 3-4-3 with two wingers but I can’t see him going with just 2 in the midfield against Rangers. If he goes 3-5-2 I hope he brings in Gnando instead of GMS who got the nod against Celtic in the cup game. 

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I've always wanted Robbie to do well with us. Certainly didn't like the money spinner comment. Wasn't on board with the Neilson out camp either.  Wasn't overly impressed with his return.  Championship season i found dull, the brora and QOS games were up there with worse I've seen.  

 

On return to the top flight i was very dubious we would go back to the defending game. The first game against Celtic was dreadful. We got the win but being at the game it seemed we had 10% possession the whole game. 

 

From there we have grown as a team.  The celtic away game first half was as poor as ive seen from any hearts side and rightly cost us a cup run.  I'm undecided on RN. I hate the arrogance and praise he seems to give the team after a poor performance or draw. He can't admit when he gets it wrong or call out the team for being poor. That splits fans opinions. My only fear with RN has always been hibs & glasgow away. The old firm are as poor as we are likely to see them. I'd rather go to Ibrox and lose 4-0 while having a real go at them, than sit in and barely touch the ball and lose 2-0 or play for the draw. The games we are on TV are the games he seems to sit in and let the other team control the game. That needs to change. If you beat the old firm twice a season each you have a much higher value on the league table. 

 

Have a go and the fans will be behind you. Sit in deep and have 11 players in our own half and the fans will criticise.

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Forever Hearts
1 hour ago, jambopilms said:

There is no chance we are going to dominate the ball against them, they had something like 75% of the ball against Hibs. If we can defend well with no daft mistakes and use the ball well when we do have it we can get a result.

Hibs were more than holding their own before the red card and were 1-0 up. I doubt very much Rangers would have had 75% possession if Hibs had kept 11 men on the park. 

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Bull's-eye

I expect them to win because they are a better football team than us.

If we get a point then it's a reasonable return.

 

To get 3 points away at Greyskull would be absolutely fantastic and worthy of great celebrations and another manager of the month award. We'll also need more than great players and tactical nowse to win there.

 

Another thread desperate for Robbie to fail in my opinion.

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The result at the weekend won't make or break our season, regardless of whether we win lose or draw.

Edited by Homme
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ollie2004
1 hour ago, jambopilms said:

There is no chance we are going to dominate the ball against them, they had something like 75% of the ball against Hibs. If we can defend well with no daft mistakes and use the ball well when we do have it we can get a result.

They only had 10 players on pitch for about an hour though!

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2 hours ago, lost in space said:

I am delighted with our start to the season. Fantastic signings - AND positive tactics from our manager, home and away.

I have never been a fan of Neilson as a coach due to his "possession without progression" tactics and didnt think he would last until xmas - but he does seem to have changed our playing style.  He certainly deserves credit and the fans backing for his league tactics this season, until now.

So far though, all of our league games against the bigger clubs (Celtic, Aberdeen, Hobos) have been at home - where we have performed well and attacked when we could.

The only away game against a top team has been the League Cup game against Celtic (losing 3-2). The result flattered us and our first half performance was one of the worst ever.

 

SO, this Saturday is a HUGE test for Neilson - will he return to the chicken hearted tactics of before?  Or will he show confidence in the present squad and push forward?

 

I dont think anybody expects us to attack for 90 minutes but I (and most fans surely) will want us to "have a go" without being suicidal. 

I dont expect a win. We might not even draw - but if we go out, trying to impose ourselves / show confidence / actually get players into the Sevco box and make chances + have shots on goal, he will go a long way in getting the doubters (like me) behind him.

 

i havnt been a fan of our manager but I could become one.

 

I keep thinking back to when we beat them at Ibrox when we were both in the Championship and Sow scored the winner.

 

Robbie knows how to beat them and I think he has not felt confident enough with the players we have had since his return until he completed his recruitment this season.

 

We had a good win away to St Mirren who are a bit of a bogey team for us and also away to Dundee Utd. The Ross Co game was a bit of a blip but on another day we would have won that game comfortably.

 

Celtic away was maybe a wee lesson for Robbie in that when you try and sit in against teams like them you ultimately pay the price and I hope he doesn't go out with the same gameplan.

 

We were far better against Celtic in the second half in the 3-2 game althougn as you say the score did flatter us.

 

Not many will fancy us to win but if we can keep all our players on the park then you never know. I say that because I worry a little about Devlin and his over enthusiasm at times and doing things like patting other players on the head won't go down well at Ibrox especially if we have Madden or the likes as the ref.

Edited by wavydavy
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2 hours ago, kila said:

Toughest game, but I think we might sneak it. Rangers will come at us so I reckon Neilson will set us up with an additional midfield (Haring) in a 3-5-2 and we'll make good use of counter attacks.

 

Referee will play a part as usual too.

 


Unfortunately the referee is Don Robertson, don’t think Neilson will be impressed with that decision by the SFA.

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1 minute ago, MTS1874 said:


Unfortunately the referee is Don Robertson, don’t think Neilson will be impressed with that decision by the SFA.

Issues with him last season iirc?

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John Findlay

Every game is a big test for Robbie Neilson for quite a few that post on here. It's like he plays the opposition all by himself and players are no longer required.

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CloustonHMFC

Same team with maybe bringing Souttar back in, same formation, same game plan. Go out there and play the game we've been playing and no one can argue we didn't go there to have a go. Switch it up and look to soak up pressure and you're asking for trouble.

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Pasquale for King
35 minutes ago, wavydavy said:

 

I keep thinking back to when we beat them at Ibrox when we were both in the Championship and Sow scored the winner.

 

Robbie knows how to beat them and I think he has not felt confident enough with the players we have had since his return until he completed his recruitment this season.

 

We had a good win away to St Mirren who are a bit of a bogey team for us and also away to Dundee Utd. The Ross Co game was a bit of a blip but on another day we would have won that game comfortably.

 

Celtic away was maybe a wee lesson for Robbie in that when you try and sit in against teams like them you ultimately pay the price and I hope he doesn't go out with the same gameplan.

 

We were far better against Celtic in the second half in the 3-2 game althougn as you say the score did flatter us.

 

Not many will fancy us to win but if we can keep all our players on the park then you never know. I say that because I worry a little about Devlin and his over enthusiasm at times and doing things like patting other players on the head won't go down well at Ibrox especially if we have Madden or the likes as the ref.

Yeah Devlin will need to be on his best behaviour no doubt about that. 

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jonnothejambo
2 hours ago, Vlad Magic said:

If there is even a sniff of us getting a result through there the ref will step in.

 

Happened so many times it’s become predictable. 

 

Yep. We will need to win 2-0 to get a draw....

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jonnothejambo
1 hour ago, Forever Hearts said:

Hibs were more than holding their own before the red card and were 1-0 up. I doubt very much Rangers would have had 75% possession if Hibs had kept 11 men on the park. 

 

True. Porteous being sent off negated their blooter into the corners for ferret heid to chase.

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1 hour ago, EH23-Jambo said:

Don Robertson been announced as The Ref.


Brutal 😏

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Smith's right boot
12 minutes ago, jonnothejambo said:

 

True. Porteous being sent off negated their blooter into the corners for ferret heid to chase.

 

😂😂😂

 

Blooter. 

Ferret heid. 

 

😂😂🤣🤣

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