Saturday’s draw with Ross County was another frustrating result after Hearts’ defeat at St Johnstone.
As the game went on, it felt like we didn’t have the key to unlock the door. The crowd became quiet as a result, which is linked to the level of expectation on Hearts whenever they play at Tynecastle. It can be really difficult for the players because they are always expected to swat aside the supposed lesser sides at home, but the reality is often very different.
Ross County are the League Cup holders and just a week earlier had gone to Ibrox and drawn 0-0, so there was never much chance of them being rolled over easily. Nonetheless, it’s a disappointing result and it puts a bit of pressure on us to get a result on Friday when we go to Motherwell, which has not been a happy hunting ground for us in recent times.
The important thing is that we already have a decent points tally and are still in a relatively lofty league position.
Alim Ozturk will have been happy to get back into the side at the end of a week in which he lost the captaincy. In the short time I was the Hearts captain, I didn’t handle it very well. I had a discussion with the manager and said I was quite happy for it to be taken off my shoulders, but I don’t think Ozturk is that type. I would imagine he’ll be very disappointed but, if that can be harnessed properly, it could be beneficial to the team because if he gets a chance he’ll be determined to prove his value to the team.
The new skipper Perry Kitchen looks like a good pro who will be a “six or seven out of ten” man every week rather than a nine one week and a four the next, and that’s what you want.
Off the field, it was great to hear that Ann Budge is due to meet Edinburgh Council and that the wheels could be in motion this week for the building of the new stand. For years, it was a position we never expected getting to but now we are within touching distance of playing in an updated Tynecastle with that special atmosphere hopefully being retained. As someone who campaigned more than a decade ago to help keep Hearts in Gorgie, that delights me.