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20 May 2022

Robbie Neilson hoping Hearts end Premiership campaign on a high against Rangers

Robbie Neilson hoping Hearts end Premiership campaign on a high against Rangers

Robbie Neilson wants Hearts to finish the cinch Premiership season on a positive note in the first of a double-header against Rangers.

The Light Blues visit Tynecastle on Saturday for what is effectively a dress rehearsal for the Scottish Cup final between the teams at Hampden Park the following week, three days after the Gers come back from their Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville.

While Hearts’ third-place finish is confirmed, and both managers will pick their teams with an eye on the following week, Jambos boss Neilson is treating the final league fixture of the season – which comes after a 2-1 defeat by Motherwell in midweek – with respect.

“It’s all coming together,” the former Hearts defender told the club’s official website, while confirming defender Toby Sibbick, who was carried off on a stretcher against Well after a leg knock, has recovered.

“Apart from (Beni) Baningime, everyone trained today.

“We’ll have a full squad so it’s just about balancing who needs what in terms of game time.

“It’s a big game. Whenever the Old Firm come to Tynecastle it’s usually a full house.

“It’s important from not only a fitness perspective but a psychological one as well that the boys are ready and have minutes under their belt. We had a few guys come on against Motherwell and you could probably see the rustiness.

“We’re treating this like a normal game, we have 20,000 fans who have paid their hard-earned money to see the team perform.

“It’s the last game of the season at Tynecastle in what’s been a good season – we want to go out on a high.

“We’re ready and looking forward to it. How Rangers approach it is entirely up to Rangers so we’ll wait and see.”

Neilson revealed Sibbick’s teammates were teasing him following his swift recovery.

He said: “Toby was back out today as well. He took a sore one in the nerve and was in a lot of extreme pain at the time and we were worried the way he went down.

“He’s been getting a bit of stick from the boys for getting back up like Lazarus.”

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