Gary Mackay: Glimmer of hope back at Tynecastle

Callum Paterson celebrates after putting Hearts ahead at Pittodrie. (SNS Group)
Callum Paterson celebrates after putting Hearts ahead at Pittodrie. (SNS Group)
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I don’t think anybody who saw Hearts v St Johnstone and Aberdeen v Partick last weekend could ever have foreseen Hearts winning at Pittodrie. What an astounding result that was and it shows there is a genuine spirit in the camp.

We’ve had plenty of unfortunate breaks go against us this season, so it’s imperative when they do go our way that we capitalise on them, as we did on Saturday with the penalty save by Jamie MacDonald and the red card for Barry Robson. The manager also deserves credit for making two decisive substitutions around the hour mark which helped us go on and have a real go at Aberdeen and win the game.

After last weekend, all Hearts supporters were starting to fear the worst for our survival prospects as well as how we’d fare at Pittodrie. I think most people expected us to lose comprehensively at the weekend. But now, after one quite brilliant victory, we suddenly have a glimmer of hope again.

We are back in a position where we have made ground on two teams – Kilmarnock and Ross County – and significantly we are only now four points away from zero. Reaching that landmark, hopefully in the next few matches, will provide the whole team and support with a massive boost and could really kick them on over the festive period.

In an ideal world we’d have another league game on Saturday to try to build up some momentum, but instead we just have this daft friendly against Wolfsburg on Wednesday and then a free weekend. When we do return to league action, it’s another of those massive six-pointers a week on Saturday against a struggling Ross County side we could yet start targeting.

We came close to beating them on their own patch last time out, before suffering a late collapse, so we certainly shouldn’t fear them. The fact we have beaten arguably the second-best team in the league on both occasions this season shows that we are more than capable of competing in this league. That has to give us hope.

We’ve now won at Hibs and Aberdeen in our last two away games which will be massive for everyone at the club because our away record has been deplorable over the last few years.

We had a quite magnificent away support at Pittodrie on Saturday and, buoyed by that superb result, they will hopefully turn out in great numbers once again and back the team to the hilt for the County game. That support remains vital if we are to have any chance of staying up. For all that we are still in a serious predicament in terms of being in administration, our club is now totally unified with everyone pulling in the same direction.

Everything is reasonably settled on the playing side, and the support are right behind the club. The same can’t be said of Kilmarnock, the team who now look most catchable. They are struggling for form and their fans are not happy at all with how things are going at their club. It is not a happy place and that rancour could have a bearing on their form over the course of the season. I’d hate to wish ill on another Scottish football club, but anyone who has been paying attention will know it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that they could follow us into administration. If such a scenario did occur, we’d need to make sure we were in a position to capitalise. Our team has given us some much-needed hope, just when all looked lost. A win over County and all of a sudden, we will be right back in business.