Hearts boss Robbie Neilson was pleased to see his side get through to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup with a penalty shootout win over Livingston yesterday as he insisted they remain on course for a good season.

With both sides failing to score after 120 minutes, it needed penalties to split them yesterday and Neilson pointed to the Jambos’ ten-point gap in third in the league and having their name in the hat for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup draw as signs they are going in the right direction.

Celtic v Heart of Midlothian - Scottish Cup Final
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“It was a tough game and we knew it would be,” Neilson said.

“Livingston are a very good team, they have caused a lot of upsets this season.

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“At the start of this year we said: ‘Look, can we get through in the cup and extend our lead in the league?

We have got through in the cup and instead of being five points clear we are ten points clear.

“The boys will get a few days off now and hopefully that will bring the energy back.”

After Livi failed to score either of their final two penalties, handing the win to Hearts, Neilson was delighted with those who stepped up to take one while admitting taking a spot-kick against Craig Gordon would cause him to have a “squeaky bum.”

“If I was an opposition player stepping up and Craig Gordon was in goal I would have a squeaky bum, that’s for sure.

“It’s massive for us, I wish we’d done it 18 months ago (against Celtic in the 2020 final).

“I thought they all struck their penalties really well. We asked them to go and pick their spot and go and hit it and to their credit they did that.”

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