Gary Mackay: Squad overhaul has sucked spirit from Hearts

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro and director of football Craig Levein are seeking answers to Hearts' woes

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro and director of football Craig Levein are seeking answers to Hearts' woes

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Sport without passion is merely business and right now Hearts look to be massively short of passion, with the exception of our great supporters.

The football department has run along quite smoothly for most of the post-administration period but, more recently, it seems that our obsession with trying to unearth players to sell on for a profit has overtaken the need to get a team on the park that has spirit, a bond and a passion to play for the club. This stems from a lack of continuity and a slapdash approach to recruitment which has left us with a group of players who don’t seem suited to the demands of Scottish football. How can the fans form a genuine bond with a team of short-term signings who show the level of fight we’ve seen over the past few games? It’s no wonder so many are exasperated with the situation because it is not good enough for Hearts. I feel for everyone who loves the club because we were in a great position to kick on and challenge for second place not so long ago.

Nobody at the club should underestimate the passion of the supporters. It’s not just results that are frustrating for us – it’s the major overhaul of the team and the lack of fight and spirit that has resulted in. How has this been allowed to happen under a structure that is supposed to facilitate smooth transition between head coaches?

I’ve tried to be as supportive as I can over the last few months, but it’s reached a stage where I don’t think anybody with Hearts’ best interests can accept what they’re seeing at the moment. Having a long-term plan is all well and good, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for things not going well in the here and now. With our resources, we should be strong enough to compete with Hibs in big matches.

There is no sign that lessons are being learned. Why substitute Malaury Martin at half-time in the first game against Hibs then start him again last week? Why start with one up front last week when that approach clearly didn’t cause Hibs any problems in the first game? If Rory Currie is deemed ready, throw him in from the start at Easter Road instead of sending the poor lad on when we’re 2-0 down.

The whole situation is demoralising and everyone in the football department needs held to account.