Celtic 0-0 Hearts: Robbie Neilson pleased to take a point

Celtic wasted several good chances in front of goal
Celtic wasted several good chances in front of goal

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson was happy with a 0-0 draw at Celtic Park and hopes to develop a side that can challenge the champions in future.

Celtic boss Ronny Deila thought the goalless draw was "hard to believe", given the hosts' first-half dominance.

"We're pleased with the point but I'd like to build a team that can come here and get three points," said Neilson.

"That's not going to happen overnight but last year we came here and got beaten 4-0 and today it's 0-0."

Hearts had failed to take a point from the last 10 league meetings with Celtic and rode their luck at times as Deila's side squandered chance after chance before the interval.

"I thought the players worked hard to stick to our game plan, we dropped deep and made them deliver from wide and our two full-backs and centre-backs dealt with everything," Neilson explained.

"We tried to break when we could. We had one or two chances but you don't get many at Parkhead.

"The two striker worked unbelievably hard for us. They both came off after an hour and the next two go on. We have to do that. We have to do that every week."

With Aberdeen slipping up at Inverness CT, Celtic closed the gap on the Premiership leaders to four points but Deila was left frustrated by the stalemate.

"We played well in the first half and should have scored one and could maybe have had four or five," he told BBC Scotland.

"But when you don't get that first one, it's going to be tough.

"We were in the final third all of the time and made a lot of crosses. The movement in the box was not good enough. Someone needs to sacrifice themselves on the first post to make space for others.

"Hearts hardly had a chance in the whole game and we should have won it. But, if we keep playing like this, we are going to win a lot of games."

Efe Ambrose was sent off in the dying moments for 'a professional foul'
Ambrose was sent off in the dying moments for 'a professional foul'

Efe Ambrose was sent off for a stoppage-time challenge on Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson.

The foul denied Nicholson a clear goal-scoring opportunity and Deila apportioned the blame on the rest of the Nigerian defender's team-mates.

"We were not disciplined for 93 minutes and put Efe in a bad situation," said the disappointed manager.

Opposition boss Neilson went further, praising the cynical decision.

"Credit to Ambrose, he was very professional in what he did," he said.

"It was a good one for our young boys to see. You are at 0-0 in the 92nd minute, you make a bad touch, the boy goes through, you take man and ball if you can, if you can't do that you take the man and he did it and saved his team a point.

"Yes, he got a red card but it is shows the experience he has got."