Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is confident his side can avoid a Scottish Cup banana skin against Auchinleck Talbot this weekend as he challenged his players to put together a run to Hampden this season.

Last season, Neilson’s side lost 2-1 defeat to Highland League side Brora Rangers in the Scottish Cup and Neilson wants to put that right this season – insisting his players can’t be complacent against their West of Scotland opponents.

Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian - Scottish Cup: First Semi-Final
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

If the Jambos can get their hands on the Scottish Cup it should guarantee them group stage football for next season and Neilson is hopeful his side can get their campaign off to a win.

“The Scottish Cup is a chance to win silverware,” Neilson said. “We didn’t manage to do it last year so we have to try and put it right this year.

“We know cup football is like that. You saw in England last week a lot of upsets [in the FA Cup] and this weekend there will be upsets too. It’s part of the romance of the cup and we have to make sure we’re ready for it.

“It’s a different environment to what we’re used to but it’s one we look forward to. Going down there will be great, there’ll be 4,000 fans there, a good atmosphere and it should be a big game. For us, I’d rather go to a ground like that than one where there are 50 people there. It’ll be a good, proper cup atmosphere and hopefully, we can show our quality.

“We’ve got a totally different team now [compared to Brora]. There are very few players who played that night who are still here.

“So, we go in with a different group of players. For me, we go into a cup competition, we’re a club that should be winning cups and to do that we have to get through these early stages.”

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