Hearts boss Robbie Neilson thankful for wee bit of luck

01 October 2016 12:08

Robbie Neilson felt a piece of luck opened the floodgates for his Hearts team as they moved second in the Ladbrokes Premiership with a 3-1 victory at Fir Park.

With seconds remaining in a tight first half, Sam Nicholson intercepted a Keith Lasley pass just outside the Motherwell box and fired a shot which bounced in off the shin of Stephen McManus.

There was nothing fortunate about the second-half goals, though, as the game opened up.

Callum Paterson fired a wonderful left-footed shot into the top corner from 25 yards midway through the half before Arnaud Djoum curled into the same part of the net from 20 yards late on.

Even Motherwell's consolation was spectacular as James McFadden curled a free-kick home in stoppage-time.

Neilson, whose side had failed to score in two previous matches, said: "We needed that wee bit of luck and got that bit of luck and it kind of opened the floodgates. We scored two goals after that which were fantastic.

"We had good periods of the game, started well and Motherwell came back into it. The second half we had long periods where we had more possession and could have scored more.

"Over the last three games it's trying to score goals that's been the problem.

"That was probably the worst performance out the three and we managed to come away with three points."

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee, who again started with three strikers, felt his team were on the right lines.

"Hugely disappointed with the result but satisfied with the performance," he said.

"The first half we set out to do what we practised in training and as far as I'm concerned it worked a treat up until the point where we gave away a ridiculous goal. We did the same at Ibrox, we tried to play out in a situation that just required somebody to put their foot through the ball.

"For 20 minutes at the start of the second half we did everything except score. I thought we were excellent - energy, pace, variety.

"And the second goal was a bit of a sucker punch and it finishes the game.

"So (I'm) optimistic, encouraged but hugely disappointed we got nothing from the game."

Source: PA