‘Focusing on getting that right’ - Stephen Kingsley explains how Hearts can improve v Aberdeen

Stephen Kingsley has been speaking about Hearts upcoming clash vs Aberdeen

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Hearts are just hours away from returning to the Scottish Premiership as they welcome Aberdeen to Tynecastle. The Jambos have struggled with form in recent fixtures, losing 1-0 to Motherwell in their last outing, but will head into Saturday’s fixture after a two-week much needed break.

While Hearts boss Steven Naismith will welcome the return of Beni Baningime and Cameron Neuwienhof, Alex Cochrane now finds himself in the medical suite after he took a blow to the ankle in training. It is therefore likely we will be seeing the return of Stephen Kingsley to the starting XI and the left-sided defender is well aware of the changes that need to occur if the Gorgie side are to start taking home three points more regularly.

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Scottish footballer Kingsley joined Hearts in 2020 following a three-year period with the Championship side Hull City. He has since gone on to make 77 league appearances, scoring 10 goals for the Jambos and has two international caps to his name.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming clash against the Dons, the 29-year-old left-back: “We absolutely hold our hands up and take responsibility that our performances haven’t been good enough. We’ve not given the fans anywhere near enough excitement or positivity in terms of performances, in terms of the team we want to be. We need to get back to that.”

In the first block of the season, Hearts have won one, drawn one and lost two. The fixtures had been against teams Jambo fans would have expected their team to have achieved more in, however, ahead of the next international break, Kingsley pointed out he is well aware of what is expected of the squad and the areas in which they should be improving:

“We really looked at our first period of fixtures, and we thought we really need to start fast - if we start fast it’s a great building block and we had some great home games. That’s a massive disappointment.

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“We haven’t started the season the way we wanted to so it puts the pressure on now, we need to start getting the performance right first and foremost and getting this consistency back and the results will come. We’ve got a long way to go, it’s going to be a tight league this year. You’ve got teams like Motherwell and you look at their stats - it’s going to be a tough season for everyone.

“Looking from our point of view, we’ve still got 100% confidence that when we get it right we’re going to be a really tough team to play against, anyone in the league. We’re just focusing on getting that right and making sure we’re in the best possible place we can be, because we’ve not been there yet.”

It isn’t all doom and gloom, however, as Kingsley points out he knows Hearts have it within them to fight back against the critiques. There have been moments throughout the season where the Jambos have shown why they can compete for those European places, but it’s now a matter of ensuring the consistency remains.

“There was a period where the standards weren’t anywhere near where they should be, but there were also periods where we did show it - it just wasn’t a 90 minute performance,” he added.

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“The game against Partick Thistle, we looked very professional, scored goals with control and gave it everything and they’re the kind of games you can slip up on. There was a feeling that we’re just nowhere near good enough, a period that we’ve looked at, and we’ve addressed and hopefully we can put it right - make it a consistent period for us before the next international break.”