Gary Mackay: Hearts’ rivals can say what they like

Kevin McHattie celebrates
Kevin McHattie celebrates
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There have been plenty people at other clubs shouting their mouths off and questioning Hearts’ title credentials, but the players and staff continue to shrug it all off and concentrate on getting on with their job.

Our rivals can say what they like, but the bottom line is that points make prizes and we have more points than anyone else in the league.

Saturday’s game at Falkirk could have been a hazardous one because the performances in previous weeks hadn’t been as open and flamboyant as earlier in the season.

Our display at Falkirk Stadium was a bit Jekyll and Hyde, but once again we got the job done. Because of the way we took teams apart earlier in the season, some of our opponents are now running a bit scared of us and are giving us too much respect. That was perhaps the case with Falkirk because they allowed us to dominate the first half.

There was a big change in the second half and in the end we rode our luck a wee bit towards the end when Falkirk missed a chance to get a draw, but we gave ourselves a platform to do that by opening up a two-goal lead.

To come through the games we’ve had without some really important players and still be unbeaten speaks volumes for the strength of the squad.

We’re now in a brilliant position ahead of Saturday’s game against Rangers. We’ll be hoping to win the game, but it would be no disaster if we were to emerge with a draw because we would still be six points clear.

It’s a bigger game for Rangers than it is for Hearts because, with the way Hearts are going, the Ibrox side will feel they can’t afford to lose the game. The pressure is all on them.

Hearts can go into the game totally relaxed and try and enjoy it.

We laid down a marker with our flawless start to the season and if we were to beat Rangers and open up a nine-point lead going into December that would lay down another significant marker.

On another note, I was delighted to see Callum Paterson get into the Scotland squad as I’ve followed his career closely. It’s a massive achievement for him because it was only four years ago that he was playing boys club football.