Robbie Neilson insists Hearts will remain grounded despite title win

Hearts have clinched the Scottish Championship title with seven games still to play
Hearts have clinched the Scottish Championship title with seven games still to play

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson insists they will stay grounded despite clinching the Scottish Championship title with seven games left.

Rangers' 2-0 victory against Hibernian at Easter Road ensured the Tynecastle side can not be caught at the top.

"I think we still have to be realistic," Neilson told BBC Scotland.

"We're a championship team that's gained promotion to the top flight and we're not going to start shouting our mouths off."

Hearts were relegated from the Scottish Premiership last season following a points reduction that came with going into administration.

Neilson was appointed in the summer under Hearts owner Ann Budge and Director of Football Craig Levein, losing only one league game to date.

"I'm delighted, it's been a really good season," he said. "We had a really difficult time last year and we've managed to bounce back at the first time of asking.

"It's not been one individual or one group, it's been a real club effort to get the club back to where it belongs.

"The first game of the season we went to Ibrox, we went a goal ahead, then we lost a goal in injury time. Previously when I've been to Ibrox I know what it's like, you just think 'let's just get out of here with a draw' and you worry about losing another goal.

"But, the players went right up the park and scored another goal.

"Right from that moment I thought there's a real belief in the squad that they could go to these venues and pick up results, a real belief in each other. I think that was a real defining moment of the season for us.

"There'll be no over celebrating. We have to keep the momentum going and carry it right through to the end of the season and that'll then carry us through to the start of next season.

"I'm very lucky. Ann [Budge] and Craig [Levein] took a chance on me in the summer. They gave me the opportunity to come in and build a squad and put my ideas across and they've gave me full control of the football side of it.

"It's been great. I've been able to implement the training regime that I believe in, the way I want the players to play, and the players have bought into it. I've been lucky to start at a club that's so stable, good people involved.

Hearts trio Brad McKay (left), Adam Eckersley (centre) and Danny Wilson celebrate outside Tynecastle
Hearts trio Brad McKay (left), Adam Eckersley (centre) and Danny Wilson celebrate outside Tynecastle

"The backing of the fans has been phenomenal. The Foundation of Hearts with the donations they've been making monthly and also the support they've been giving the players, selling out allocations at away grounds, filling Tynecastle every week.

"We have to make sure we're respectful of the teams round about us. We got a lot of help from these teams when we were in administration.

"Realistically we want to get up, play some good football, try and get into the top six and try and push on from there."

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