Gary Mackay: Hearts are already selling themselves short for next season

Hearts are already setting the bar low if the aim for next season is a top-six finish.
Robbie Neilson is aiming for a top six finish with Hearts next season. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)Robbie Neilson is aiming for a top six finish with Hearts next season. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Robbie Neilson is aiming for a top six finish with Hearts next season. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

That is the bare minimum you can accept in the Premiership with the budget Hearts have. People will say it’s because of what happened last year but Stendel's time and the end of Levein's time came on the back of a poorly run period of the football side of the club.

For me, they are setting standards pretty low. Top six should be a given when you've got the budget, the facilities, and the ability to sign players that Hearts have got. I can't wear it like that. You see through some of the talk.

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There are two games left of the season and I want to see a creative team that goes out and plays without any fear, who want to show their skills, get the ball forward to the front players and get guys in wide areas putting crosses in. The lack of crosses Hearts are putting into the box is mind-numbing. Greenock is a smaller pitch, I understand that, but come Saturday we need to stretch Inverness. We need to use the width and get crosses into the box from the first minute of the game, not after throwing Craig Halkett forward late in a game at Morton. I thought that was a token gesture because of the pressure that I'm sure Robbie Neilson feel he's under. Brora Rangers is a big part of it, but there have been poor performances before and afterwards.

The worst result we had when I played was when we lost 6-0 to Falkirk, which led to Joe Jordan being sacked. That was a manifestation of a period of time where there was a bit of disgruntlement. This all started for me when we were beaten 5-0 at Livingston and we have not repaired the damage since then. We've become a soft touch to people.

Getting back into the Premiership is great, but it papers over the cracks. If you're part of a Hearts team and you've been beaten by Brora Rangers and not won any of your last six away games in the Championship there is something fundamentally wrong.

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