Gary Mackay: Hearts have long list of problems to overcome

Hearts defender Michael Smith feels the pain of Sunday's defeat by Kilmarnock
Hearts defender Michael Smith feels the pain of Sunday's defeat by Kilmarnock
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It’s bizarre that Hearts have actually climbed into the top six despite such a disappointing result and performance against Kilmarnock yesterday.

I think we should be delighted at where we are in the league because considering how poor we’ve been, we could easily have been in the bottom six. It’s all very well saying we’re missing Tynecastle, but for Hearts to perform as poorly as we did yesterday against one of the lesser sides in the division is not really acceptable regardless of whether it’s at Murrayfield, Tynecastle or Rugby Park.

I was always concerned that yesterday would have been a difficult game because we are off form and Kilmarnock, aside from the Hibs game in midweek, seem to have had a wee bounce since Steve Clarke came in. There was a period in the second half yesterday when we improved and looked like we were in the ascendancy but you have to do far more overall in a game at home to Kilmarnock. We’re not creating chances with any great regularity.

We seem to be finding different ways of losing games. Against Hibs, we lost an early goal and never recovered. Against Rangers, we took the lead and lost. Against Kilmarnock we got ourselves level and into the ascendancy and then lost. We’re unable to get ourselves into any position of authority and it’s a real concern. We haven’t look like a team of any genuine substance since Robbie Neilson left almost a year ago. Since then we’ve been in decline.

Our player recruitment has been poor and it’s being highlighted on the pitch. We’ve been really poor for the majority of the past year and there is no real sign of things improving any time soon.

We had a couple of good results against Ross County and St Johnstone last month, but neither were particularly convincing.

We can’t keep making excuses. As Hearts supporters, the last three games have been particularly grim, and that’s why there was so much anger yesterday. We are in a league where, outwith Celtic, every team is capable of beating each other, but we’re simply not beating enough opponents.

It would have been nice to have honoured the memory of Stefano Salvatori – a great man on and off the park – with a victory, but unfortunately we are now praying that a long-awaited return to Tynecastle after the international break can somehow banish what is currently looking like a long list of problems.