Gary Mackay: Hearts showed patience on perfect day

Hearts fans packed out Tynecastle on a day when Dave Mackay was remembered. Pic: SNS
Hearts fans packed out Tynecastle on a day when Dave Mackay was remembered. Pic: SNS
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Saturday brought yet another ruthless Hearts victory on a day when the tributes to the great Dave Mackay were typical of the class that Ann Budge has brought to the football club.

Dumbarton came and showed a resilience and determination as they stuck to their gameplan in the first 45 minutes. The Hearts players could easily have got frustrated and fed-up before they scored, but they stuck at it and kept going. They just keep knocking at the door until they get in and because of the firepower we have, they are almost always able to wear teams down. That’s what happened on Saturday.

When you’re set up to sit as tightly as Dumbarton were, it’s very hard to adapt if you fall behind and they were broken after they lost the first goal. In the end, it was a typically resounding win, with Billy King coming off the bench to once again underline the strength in depth we have by grabbing a double.

Tomorrow we go to Raith Rovers, who are in a bit of a no-man’s land because they’re well above the relegation area, but probably out of the race for the play-offs.

If Hearts make a really good start, you could imagine Raith finding it difficult. Tomorrow’s not necessarily about winning 4-0, though, it’s just about making sure we score one more than Raith and take another step towards the title.

You can sense that everyone’s just desperate to get over the line now. In all sports, you’ve seen people get close to winning something and then switch off and get caught, but it certainly doesn’t look like that’s going to happen with this Hearts team. In the same way that last year, we were resigned to relegation long before the end of the season, Hearts fans have long since accepted that their team is champions in waiting.

That expectancy is highlighted by the crowds we are drawing for matches against part-time teams. No disrespect to our opponents, but to get in excess of 15,000 – albeit Saturday’s was probably swelled slightly by people wishing to remember Dave Mackay – for a game against Dumbarton is simply phenomenal.