Gary Mackay: Hearts came so close to a massive win

Juanma almost clinched the points for Hearts at the death. Pic: Ian Rutherford
Juanma almost clinched the points for Hearts at the death. Pic: Ian Rutherford
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I feel sorry for the Hearts players because they had to overcome some major obstacles yesterday.

The wind plays havoc at the best of times, but it’s even more of a problem on a plastic playing surface like Hamilton’s. And on top of that, there was the fact they played more than half the game with ten men.

Considering all that, I thought we did really well and were desperately unlucky not to have won the game in the end. To have come away with three points in those circumstances would have been massive, but even a point was a good outcome in light of getting a red card so early on. I’ve no complaints about the sending off. Igor Rossi went in with his feet off the ground, so he had to go.

We’ve got another difficult match at Inverness on Saturday. At least it’ll be back on grass, but there’s always the chance of wind up there at this time of year, so the players will have to brace themselves for another tricky afternoon’s work in conditions that are not necessarily conducive to flowing football. The fact we are missing half of our back four, with Igor Rossi and Blazej Augustyn suspended, is not ideal but we have a resolute squad and have generally shown we can cope quite well in the absence of key men this season.

Any issues in the defence will hopefully be offset by the fact we have good options at the other end of the pitch. There are not many teams in this league who can keep a player like Juanma in reserve, while Dario Zanatta looks an exciting prospect. We’ll also hopefully have Sam Nicholson and possibly even Jamie Walker back in the mix.

It would be wonderful if we could come away from the Highlands with a result to ensure we can go into the Scottish Cup game against Hibs on a high. Even though we didn’t get the win yesterday, confidence will be sky high in the camp right now. That’s always going to be the case when you’ve kept three successive cleans sheets and have lost only one league game in 15. There will be an extra incentive among the players on Saturday to make sure they secure their place for the derby the following week, so hopefully we can maintain the positivity and make amends for our defeat at Inverness back in September.