Between defence and midfield the return of Perry Kitchen was conspicuous. The American is happier playing deeper than Neilson’s other midfield options and he let the central defenders pass in triangles from the back. If either Igor Rossi or John Souttar spotted a chance to step out and start an attack, Kitchen slipped in to the backline. Hearts’ opening goal was a direct consequence. Out strode Souttar after some patient work at the back, his pass forward was dummied by Don Cowie and laid off by Conor Sammon for a fine team goal.Cowie, who put in a masterclass in box to box play, played between the attacking lines perfectly for that goal, but he is merely a foil for Tony Watt in that role. Watt roamed the space between Hearts’ midfield and attack with menace for the full time he was on the field. He chases down second balls and harries opposition players to cough it up. When on the ball he drives forward at pace, displays good skill and strength and offers a threat to goal. It was extremely tough to defend for the visitors. Watt can pop up anywhere between the lines and drags opponents out of position. Cowie was the main beneficiary on Saturday but Sammon and Sam Nicholson were also afforded a greater freedom by the magnetic efforts of Watt.The summer has seen another major overhaul of players for Neilson but the intent towards attacking football is now being glimpsed. And with Levein watching over from the stands to ensure those four totems of Hearts’ play are being implemented, perhaps a consistency in results and performances like that one could finally bring an acceptance of the worth of a director of football to clubs in Scotland who are open to the benefits of such a system. [JB]Celtic’s James Forrest is booked for leaving the field of play. SNSCeltic’s 4-2 victory over St Johnstone threw up several talking points. There was yet another example of the Scottish champions’ new-found attacking verve under Brendan Rodgers as well as their ability to give away quickfire goals. There was a caution for Leigh Griffiths for simulation just weeks after the furore over Jamie Walker’s dive at Tynecastle and then there was a yellow card for James Forrest, which highlighted a little known directive only applied in the Scottish game.Nobody on the Parkhead books better signifies the rejuvenation under the new boss than the 25-year-old, who produced a stunning solo run and cute finish with the outside of his boot to give the visitors a 3-0 lead. While the winger was careful to run towards but not into the away crowd, he was cautioned by referee Craig Thomson to the confusion of the player and fans alike.The laws of the game on excessive celebration already cover “provocative” or “inflammatory” gestures as well as the removal of your shirt but none of these apply to Forrest’s case. As it turns out Police Scotland have advised this course of action on safety grounds, citing the need to avoid crowd surges with Scottish FA communications chief Darryl Broadfoot providing further context on his Twitter feed. Given the circumstances it seems unfair to criticise Thomson but this policy raises further questions over the police’s role in our national game with another measure which stifles the passion and fun which attracts people to the sport in the first place. The focus, which ordinarily would be on Forrest’s thrilling piece of skill, has now been dominated by what seems to be an overzealous and bizarre approach to football’s most joyful moment.At a time when several big personalities have arrived in the Scottish game, those in charge seem to be intent on stripping away outbursts of natural emotion as well as diminishing the connection felt between players and supporters. In cases like this, it is surely time for a rethink. [SM]Richie Foran looks on as his team are beaten 5-1 at Tynecastle. SNS“Setbacks will happen but I have a huge belief in these players. They lift me right back up on Monday morning.”Little could Richie Foran have known his pre-match words would prove so prophetic after an afternoon to forget at Tynecastle. Three league games down, three defeats since replacing John Hughes has reinforced the need to bolster the Inverness squad with two new players set to arrive on Monday.While the Irishman is naturally trying to mark himself out from Hughes’ style, despite retaining many of their key players from last term Inverness seem to have abandoned so many of their traditional traits. Often resilient and hard to beat, limp displays away at Partick Thistle and Hearts have naturally sparked concerns but the 36-year-old won’t shirk his responsibility or abandon his beliefs.“I’ve got to take a big part of the blame for that as well – I picked the team, I picked the tactics, I picked the training through the week,” he said.“They are top players but I’m not getting the best out of a few of them at the moment, so I’ll take the blame for today.”Big personalities such as Garry Warren and Ross Draper will need to step up and show their leadership qualities with the fixture list throwing up clashes against St Johnstone, Aberdeen and Celtic in the next month.As many as four new faces could arrive in the Highlands before the end of the transfer window and supporters will hope fresh blood will help overcome any early teething problems. [SM] At the end of a week where a run of indifferent results for Hearts allowed Scottish football’s ingrained suspicion of the director of football role to resurface, the team put most question marks over the role of Craig Levein to the back of our collective minds with an impressive and dominant display against Inverness. “What does Levein actually do?” was a recurring query after Robbie Neilson put to bed any notion that he is fronting a Levein first team operation, and framing their 5-1 demolition of Caley in terms of the former Scotland boss’ own words provides a fascinating insight. In a Q and A with fans forum Jambos Kickback, Levein revealed the four “principles of play” he has implemented at every level of Hearts’ football operation. They are; playing out from the back; playing through the lines; switching the play and; having three in the box in attack. All these principles were on view at Tynecastle on Saturday but it was their success at playing between the lines that truly had their visitors on the ropes.