Robbie Neilson says Hearts knew the situation they were in during the Premier Sports Cup group stages after landing Celtic in the round of 16.

Hearts won all four of their Group A games without conceding a goal but still landed in the unseeded section of the draw by one goal. Celtic – who Hearts face at Tynecastle in this weekend’s cinch Premiership opener – await Neilson’s side at Parkhead next month for a place in the Premier Sports Cup last eight.

Celtic v Heart of Midlothian - Scottish Cup Final

Tough draw for Hearts. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With 3-0 forfeit wins being handed to teams due to Covid-19 outbreaks, Hearts manager Neilson said of the draw: “We knew before what it was going to be like. We won all our games and haven’t conceded a goal. Yes we’d have liked to have scored loads of goals but teams make it difficult and sit in.

“I don’t know how they look at it and what else they could do. If it was a 1-0 victory then teams might say they could have won the game three or four nil. It’s just part parcel and we need to deal with it. We didn’t get seeded but we won four out of four.

“The nature of this season, teams will get 3-0 victories for games getting postponed which is always going to make it difficult. I can’t really ask any more of the players. All eyes now are on Saturday. It’s huge start to the season for us.”

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