Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson: 'It's my team'

Hearts' director of football Craig Levein and head coach Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson is comfortable about the football set-up at Tynecastle

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has dismissed claims by two former club captains that he is not in charge of all first-team activity.

This week ex-Hearts skippers Michael Stewart and Gary Mackay said the team looked like one put together by the director of football, Craig Levein.

"It's my team," Neilson asserted.

"I pick the tactics, I pick the team selection, the recruitment is down to me as well, so ultimately if the team is not performing it comes back to me."

On BBC Scotland's Sportscene programme on Sunday, Stewart, referring to the Jambos' tally of 16 yellow cards in a week, said: "The problem is that Hearts' style of football is becoming a bit industrial.

"Robbie took over and it was very attractive football; now it's starting to morph, for me, into a style that's more akin with the director of football."

Neilson, however, spoke positively about his "fantastic" working relationship with Levein and said the infrastructure at Tynecastle is all geared towards leading the club to success.

"Craig's role is to be a soundboard for me," he continued.

"I will go and ask him what his thoughts are on things but ultimately it's down to me to make a decision.

"It's the way football is going at the moment.

"It's a huge club and it's part of football that we have to move with the times. Other people in Scotland might wonder what goes on but if you look down in England and Europe they have been doing this for 20 or 30 years."

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