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Robbie Neilson focuses on 'good season' after cup final disappointment

The Hearts boss said Rangers' quality made the difference in a hard-fought final.

Robbie Neilson focuses on ‘good season’ after cup final disappointment SNS Group
The manager believes Hearts can reflect on a successful season.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson admitted his disappointment at losing the Scottish Cup final but said his team have had a successful season overall.

Rangers scored twice in extra time to win 2-0 in the final at the national stadium to lift the trophy, with Ryan Jack and Scott Wright the players on the scoresheet.

The final came after Hearts had secured third place in the Premiership after their return to the top flight, with the Hampden appearance meaning they are guaranteed to be playing in the group stage of the Europa League or Conference League next season.

Neilson said: “We’re disappointed, you know, you come to a cup final and you want to win it.

“You know, no matter how well you do, or how the game is, not winning it is a huge disappointment. We have to take that on the chin and move forward and try to reflect back and see that it’s actually been a very good season for us.

“We’ve come up from the Championship. We finished third, secured group stage football, and got to a cup final. We couldn’t take that final wee step.”

Rangers took to the field just three days after losing the Europa League final on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt. Neilson played down talk of any expected tiredness from the Ibrox side, saying that they simply had a higher quality of player and strength in depth.

“I would probably put it down to the of the player that’s coming on the pitch,” he said. “You know, I think a lot has been made of Wednesday night’s exploits.

“But when you actually look at the team that went out, four or five of them actually played in it so they’ve got that freshness. So we knew coming into the game that it was going to be very, very difficult.

“Rangers can then make the changes and two guys that they bring on score the two goals. That’s what we need, to get to the stage where the players we bring on are really influencing the game.”