Ellis Simms’ Hearts debut is praised as Robbie Neilson makes sentiments clear on offside goals


Hearts manager Robbie Neilson shows his frustration during their 2-1 loss to Celtic at Tynecastle Park. (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group)

Featured in the second 45 minutes against Celtic, he was a major factor in improving the performance of Gorgie’s side, who came close to taking something from the game.

“Simms comes in and gets playing time, you can see he’s going to be a great player for us,” Nielson said. “The plan was to get him half an hour, so taking 45 minutes out of him was great. I was very impressed with him. We knew what he could do, but it was just a case of whether he could do it for us. Tonight was a very good marker.”

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Left with “a touch of disappointment” after his men failed to complete a comeback against Ange Postecoglou’s side, the Tynecastle manager lamented missed opportunities, saying that when they come up against the best sides in the league, they have to be more clinical.

In addition to the chances in open play, after going against the ropes, his team wasted a penalty chance that would have leveled the score with almost 20 minutes to go. Despite sending Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart the wrong way, Liam Boyce’s spot shot bounced off the inside of the post and, try as they might, Gorgie’s side could find no other way through. Celtic’s rearguard.

“When you get chances you have to take them and we had a few but it couldn’t be tonight,” admitted the Hearts manager.

“I think we started the game very well, but Celtic are a very good team, and we let them be a good team until half time. At that point we are 2-0 down and chasing him.

“The second half was nice, but I thought the first half could be better.

“We changed the form and the personnel a little bit, which always helps, and we talked about getting closer, having the defensive and midfield lines, which allows us to put more pressure on them.

“In the first half we went down and down and let them control the game.”

Annoyed that Celtic’s second goal stood despite being offside, there was an offsetting element of the imbalance as the flag also remained low as Boyce reduced the deficit.

“The referee did well, but the linesman let him down,” Neilson ventured. “Celta’s goal and our goal are two bad decisions. You have decisions like that every week. For me, it is a clear one. You have to see it. There is nobody between him and the Celtic player. We are all in favor of VAR and the sooner it happens, the better.”

While popular midfielder Beni Baningame returned from injury, defenders Michael Smith (back spasm) and Craig Halkett (hamstring pain) had to come off, but Neilson is hopeful that both can return in time. for Saturday’s heads-up with Motherwell.

“Beni is huge for us. We have really missed him. Although we have collected results, it allows us to control the games.

“[Craig’s] Hamstring is sore, so we’ll see how he is in the morning. It’s just a tight hamstring, so we’ll see how he calms down.

“But, Taylor Moore will practice tomorrow, so if Halks has a problem, he can go straight in. Michael had a back spasm. But he’s had them before and he’s usually fine in a couple of days.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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