Robbie Neilson hails impact of Jamie Walker

Jamie Walker hit his fourth goal in as many league games
Jamie Walker hit his fourth goal in as many league games

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson hailed the impact of the fit-again Jamie Walker after the midfielder continued his goalscoring streak against Inverness.

Walker took down Arnaud Djoum’s 50-yard pass to expertly finish in the 35th minute and Abiola Dauda pounced on a short pass back from Greg Tansey to round off a 2-0 win at Tynecastle eight minutes after the break.

Walker has netted in each of his first four Ladbrokes Premiership games since returning from knee surgery and a three-month lay-off.

“He’s a good player,” Neilson said. “We know that. He’s had a difficult season with niggling injuries at the start and then his knee problem.

“Getting him back in January was like getting a new player.

“He’s got great technique, it’s just his fitness levels we need to build up. He got another 70 minutes under his belt, so that was pleasing.”

Neilson added: “We started well, had to be patient, and I thought we were quite comfortable.

“The second half they had more of the ball because we sat deeper and tried to counter-attack them but we probably made more chances doing that. We just didn’t kill the game off as we hoped to.”

Inverness boss John Hughes admitted his side did not do enough to match Hearts.

“I was disappointed with the goals we lost,” Hughes said.

“We need to deal with that diagonal ball, it shouldn’t go 60 yards.

“We played some nice stuff and frustrated them, every bit as good as them, but in front of them too much.

“We need a cutting edge, we need to be better in the final third in terms of third man runs, linking up, expressing yourself.

“But really disappointed with the second goal we lost. We were still in the game.

“We’re better than that, that’s my frustration. We need to be better going forward and get there quicker, we need to get crosses and bodies in the box.”

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