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Hearts have right mentality to compete with Celtic – Craig Halkett

Heart of Midlothian v Rangers – cinch Premiership – Tynecastle Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Craig Halkett believes the Hearts squad has the right mentality to compete with Celtic and get the Glasgow side in their sights.

Robbie Neilson’s side can cut the deficit on second-placed Celtic to six points by beating their visitors at Tynecastle on Wednesday night.

Hearts are well ahead of the chasing pack in third place in the cinch Premiership and Neilson has consistently urged his players to hunt down Celtic and leaders Rangers.

Halkett said: “It’s a message the manager is trying to get across to us, that a team like Hearts should be pushing and always looking up the way rather then behind us.

“In the first five or six months of the season we have got ourselves in a really good position.

“To have the chance on Wednesday to beat Celtic and go six points behind them is a massive opportunity and one the boys really want to do.

“If you’re at Hearts and you don’t believe you should be up there challenging, you are not at the right place.

“I think this group of players believe we are all good enough to go and challenge and finish in the European places and try and get to cup finals.

“That is massive and the mentality has shown in results we have got so far in the league.”

That mind set was helped from the opening day of the season when Hearts beat Celtic 2-1 in Gorgie.

“It gave us great confidence knowing that the first game, we beat them,” Halkett said.

“We are a big club in this country and we feel like we can go up and compete against any team.

“We believe we have the quality and players in the squad to take the game to anyone.”

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