The past week has been pretty horrible from a Hearts perspective as we have been emphatically shown up by two of our main rivals.
The defeats by Hibs and Rangers have been hard to take and have highlighted several weaknesses within our squad.
From watching 180 very difficult minutes of football, it has become abundantly clear that we are badly lacking pace and creativity, particularly in the midfield area.
Yes, we’ve been missing a few key players recently, but so, too, were Hibs (like Anthony Stokes, Darren McGregor and Danny Swanson) and Rangers (Bruno Alves, Lee Wallace and Graham Dorrans).
The fact we have been unable to cope without a few regular starters reflects badly on the depth of the squad and our recruitment lately. It now feels like yet again we are in a period of transition, which seems to have been the case for some time now.
After last season unravelled spectacularly, we are now in danger of losing our way again this term, with many supporters, understandably, already counting the days until January so we can get yet more reinforcements in.
Getting back to Tynecastle should help us because playing away from home every week will inevitably take a toll, but I haven’t seen much in our recent performances to suggest that being back home will suddenly transform us into an eye-catching team capable of routinely defeating the opposition.
Regardless of the fact we were away from home, there can be no excuses for the pitiful performance we witnessed at Easter Road last Tuesday. We looked like we set up with the intention of trying to sneak a point and after three minutes our gameplan went out the window and we had no answer to Hibs. That’s not good enough when you consider that we have been established in the Premiership two years longer than them. Saturday’s game against Rangers simply descended into the Kenny Miller show. Again, it was nowhere near acceptable.
As supporters, we are all delighted at the prospect of opening our impressive new stand, but if performances and results like those over the past week continue, then there are going to be a lot of empty seats. Ultimately the progress we are making off the pitch will pale into insignificance if we continue to stagnate on it. There is now big pressure on us to get a result against Kilmarnock on Sunday.