Slowly but surely Hearts are starting to rediscover their self-belief.
At Hamilton on Saturday, we set out with a positive approach to win the game, and got our reward. It became a bit fraught towards the end after Hamilton got a goal back, but that was understandable given the fact away wins have not exactly been common recently, especially not on Accies’ plastic pitch.
We’re also still in the process of trying to rebuild confidence levels following a very difficult period for the team, so there is always likely to be a bit of edginess when that is the case. Those confidence issues won’t just disappear overnight, but hard-earned victories like Saturday’s will certainly help on that front.
It was notable that two of the players singled out for praise by Craig Levein – Ross Callachan and Jamie Walker – were boyhood Hearts supporters who know what the club is all about. Jamie may have let his head drop in the recent past, but his performances in the past two games suggest he is getting back on track.
To have two Hearts supporters in the middle of the park is a big thing for me. I’ve always felt that, if you have a sprinkling of players who have a feeling for the club, it helps the team play with a bit extra passion, and that’s something that should never be underestimated, especially with an Edinburgh derby looming next month.
Eight points out of 18 might not look great on paper, but I think our points return so far is pretty much bang on in relation to the formidable and disrupted start to the season we have faced. We have only had one home game and that was against the second best team in the country so we can be pretty encouraged by how things have gone.
We could hardly have asked for any more from the two games since Craig took over. We’ve looked organised and resilient, and we’re also causing problems for our opponents.
Hopefully we can build on our past two results by winning at Partick Thistle on Saturday. They might be struggling at the moment but against Rangers on Friday, they played with real spirit and showed that they remain a very capable side. The way we’re defending at the moment, however, we’ve got to fancy our chances because we’ve certainly got enough of a goal threat about us.