Hearts manager Robbie Neilson handed a Tynecastle debut to Liverpool loanee Ben Woodburn in the Edinburgh derby – and the attacking midfielder rose to the occasion.
Woodburn received a Man of the Match award during the 0-0 Scottish Premiership draw with Hibs. Hearts missed the chance to return to the top of the league but Neilson insists it shows the Tynecastle club – who are back in the Premiership after winning the Championship last season – are back to being a top force in Scottish football.
He said: “When we came up, you never really know where you are going to be. You can say: ‘We’re Hearts and we are going to do this and that’ – but until you get into the top flight with the rest of the teams, you don’t know, the players have to believe.
“I felt, with the players we have put together, we would be at the top end, but they have to believe that as well. And one of the things about today, there’s disappointment in the dressing-room, which is a great sign. I’ve been at clubs before when they get a draw and it’s like they’ve won the World Cup, whereas here the feeling is disappointment.”
The performance of Woodburn certainly left fans with a positive impression of the Liverpool loanee.
Was very impressed with Beni Baningime and Ben Woodburn for Hearts today.
Woodburn’s movement, touch and vision was a level above. His pass in to Gary Mackay-Steven would have been one of the best assists of the season.
Probably the best 0-0 game I’ve watched in a long time. pic.twitter.com/Rmjp0AUxRI
— Andrew Miller (@AndrewMillerNBA) September 12, 2021
Ben Woodburn. Certified Baller ⚽️
— Jamie Mackenzie (@JamieMackenzie5) September 12, 2021
Ben Woodburn will be a pler for us however I thought Pedro Haring in the middle had his best game in a long time
— Rab Lockhart (@Hertz_1874) September 12, 2021
Big fan of Ben Woodburn today, he was excellent. As much as McKay provided energy and good set-piece delivery, the team struggled to create much after Woodburn went off
— minelba toast (@nicolhay) September 12, 2021
Ben Woodburn was best player on the pitch, bringing him off made no sense
— Mike Appo (@mikeA1981) September 12, 2021
Ben woodburn looks he's going to be a good signing 👏🏾
— G funk (@orchard_chronic) September 12, 2021
The player Ben Woodburn is a class above any other player in the Edinburgh Derby by a mile
— daniel lee (@Dannyleeo4Lee) September 12, 2021
Ben Woodburn is actually a player for Hearts. Smart business from them to be fair.
— Rob ✌️ (@Robleghorn) September 12, 2021
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