Robbie Neilson admits he has no complaints with the sorry scoreline at Ibrox after admitting Hearts gave way in Govan.
The third-placed Jambos were hoping to heap more angst on the champions after their painful Parkhead pasting in midweek,
Instead, it was the Gorgie men who trudged down the tunnel at time up having been blown away by Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s resurgent Rangers.
Hearts did have two huge openings inside the first 90 seconds of the second half while 1-0 down – but Aussie aces Nathaniel Atkinson and Cammy Devlin both failed to make them count.
Asked if the final 5-0 result was harsh, Neilson said: “To be honest with you, no. I felt… we need to do better.
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“I’m disappointed with the final outcome.
“We started the second half really well, the crowd starts to turn and we had two huge opportunities and we don’t score them and as soon as they got the second goal, we kind of started to fall apart a wee bit to be honest with you.
“There was a 12 minute period when we lost three goals and that was the game dead.”
It’s a second defeat in the last four games for Neilson’s men – but both losses have come against the Old Firm.
Neilson was hoping his side could at least repeat October’s 1-1 draw against the Light Blues but admits they made it far too easy for Rangers to sweep them aside.
“The team has done very well this season,” said the Jambos boss, whose side will look to bounce back against Dundee at home on Wednesday.
“We are sitting 10 points clear in third and this was a real bump in the road.
“We felt it was an opportunity to come here and do well and it has not worked out that way.
“You can talk the talk and say we are going to do this and that but at the end of the day we can only win on Wednesday and that is what we have to do.
“The bigger picture for us, it shows us where we are.
“We want to compete, we want to come and win here and there were periods of the game, probably up to the second goal that we were in the game but it is that wee bit of resilience when we lose the second goal to make sure we stay in the game.”
Neilson was shown a yellow midway through the second half after losing his cool with referee Willie Collum – but was reluctant to discuss the incident.
He said: ”It is done and dusted.
“The remit now has changed, they just book you for anything.
“I think they just want you to stand there and be a robot.
“I was just complaining about… I am not going into it, it’s done.”
John Souttar – who will join Gers in the summer after penning a pre-contract – was absent again for Hearts due to injury but Neilson says he could be back to face James McPake’s Dark Blues in midweek.
He said: “Hopefully, aye. He did a wee bit of training the other day, he’s still a wee bit sore so we will wait and see.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.