Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is making Saturday’s match against Rangers his top priority over playing Fiorentina, and says the club expect to win their home games.
The Tynecastle side face a busy week, welcoming Rangers to Gorgie for Saturday’s lunchtime game before a home game against Serie A side Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.
With two demanding games back to back, there could have been a temptation to focus on the upcoming glamour game against the Italians but Neilson was adamant that the first game takes priority and he can’t afford to look beyond a Premiership fixture he says his side “have to make sure they win”.
“The league, as we have said all along, is the most important thing for us,” he said. “The European thing is great but it’s the league form that gets us into these tournaments and gets us these big games.
“First and foremost, we have to win back home in Scotland and the game against Rangers is no different.
“It’s a massive game, full house and some atmosphere and we have to make sure we win it.
“Both teams will be going into this game full of confidence. There’s been a couple of weeks to rest and be ready to go. We see it as a great opportunity.
“We know that if we win the game on Saturday we go second, which is massive for us.
“And then we’ve got a big European game after that so it’s a massive opportunity. At Tynecastle whoever we’re playing against we expect to win and it’ll be no different on Saturday.”
To that end ,Neilson said there would be no thoughts about Fiorentina when he names his team to take on Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side.
“It’s all about Saturday,” he said. “The most important game is Rangers.
“After that we’ll see where we are and make decisions for the Thursday game.”