Robbie Neilson: Hearts have been kicked a lot recently ... this was an opportunity to do some kicking back

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson took pleasure in the fact his team was able to do some “kicking back” by defeating Hibs to reach the 2020 Scottish Cup final.

Robbie Neilson celebrates as Hearts defeated Hibs to reach the Scottish Cup final.
Robbie Neilson celebrates as Hearts defeated Hibs to reach the Scottish Cup final.

The Tynecastle outfit feel aggrieved after they were demoted from the Premiership to the Championship following the early curtailment of the 2019/20 season due to the current coronavirus pandemic. Their fate was sealed by an SPFL vote by member clubs, with a subsequent appeal in court falling short. Hearts were also told during the summer to cease training in the wake of Aberdeen and Celtic players breaking Covid-19 restrictions.

The events of the past six month have left a sour taste in the mouth of most people associated with Hearts and Neilson, who returned to the club during the summer from Dundee United to oversee the rebuilding process, was delighted to defeat Capital rivals Hibs 2-1 at Hampden after extra time.

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“It’s a motivation that we use every day and before every game,” said Neilson. “Doubly so here because it’s the Scottish Cup, it’s Hibs and it’s a massive game for everyone.

“We knew that the club has been kicked left right and centre for the past year and this was an opportunity for us to do some kicking.

“We managed to do that and get a great result against our main rivals, a team that is in the top flight, and get to the Scottish Cup Final.

“It gives our fans, all the staff at the club a lift which we needed.”

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