Gary Mackay: Hearts have fire in their belly again

Hearts' striker Genero Zeefuik (right) celebrates having put his side 3-0 ahead on his debut. Picture: SNS
Hearts' striker Genero Zeefuik (right) celebrates having put his side 3-0 ahead on his debut. Picture: SNS
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Saturday’s display from Hearts certainly silenced any doubters – including myself – who might have been wondering if we were beginning to lose our way a little following a couple of games in which we hadn’t quite hit the heights.

We’ve been A-plus for most of this season in terms of our standard, but it’s impossible for any team to maintain that throughout a whole campaign without having the odd dip here and there.

I said last week that we had stopped blowing teams away like we had been doing earlier in the season, but there’s no doubt we did that to Dumbarton with some stunning attacking play.

It was a massive way to react because it shows the mentality among the squad. They’ve shown it all season.

Any time we think the wheels might be about to come off, this team just seems to come up with another comprehensive win.

There’s a real focus at the club where everyone is able to block out external influences and just keep picking up points regardless of the situation.

The arrival of Genaro Zeefuik seemed to give us extra impetus at the weekend and he gave us another attacking option which allowed us to revert to the 4-4-2 formation that has served us so well this season.

The big man certainly endeared himself to the supporters with his debut performance and his attributes will allow us to mix things up a little and play in a more direct manner if we ever feel we need to.

We’re certainly going to have a fine array of options when the other strikers like Dale Carrick, Osman Sow and Soufian El Hassnaoui return to fitness.

Saturday’s win has set us up brilliantly for our trip to Rangers on Friday.

We’re in fine spirits, there’s a confidence and belief about us and we have the luxury of knowing that even if we only draw the game, no damage is done to our title prospects. That should allow us to go to Ibrox and play with freedom and express ourselves. By contrast, it’s a must-win game for Rangers.

A victory for Hearts and it would be very hard to see them catching us.