Gary Mackay: I’m glad to see back of terrible Hearts season

Celtic's Stuart Armstrong, centre, scores his side's second goal against Hearts yesterday. Pic: SNS
Celtic's Stuart Armstrong, centre, scores his side's second goal against Hearts yesterday. Pic: SNS
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I think it’s safe to say every Hearts supporter is glad to finally see the back of this terrible season.

We had a really poor start with the European defeat, then we showed a decent level of consistency to get ourselves high in the league, but ever since the change of head coach it’s become a real struggle.

This season was typified for me by the last game in front of the old main stand two weeks ago. I think everyone expected a bit of genuine desire to try and give the stand a fitting send-off, but it just didn’t happen. I know there is a massive difference between Hearts and Tottenham Hotspur in terms of resources and quality, but look at the way their players approached their last game at White Hart Lane against Manchester United compared to our limp effort against Aberdeen.

Plans and projects like the one Hearts are carrying out are all well and good when things are going well, but it’s a different story when it starts to go wrong, as it is now. A transition period is always possible when you have a managerial change but, in nearly six months, I’ve seen no evidence, in terms of results or performances, to suggest that Ian Cathro is equipped to manage a club the size of Hearts. Put bluntly, the last transfer window was the worst I can ever recall in the club’s history.

We can only hope that a more fruitful recruitment drive over the summer, allied to a full pre-season working with the players, can spark a drastic upturn in fortunes. We need to try and put this season behind us and hope that major lessons are learned within the football club because it’s imperative on so many levels that we are well equipped to start next term strongly. We are trying to attract more supporters to fill the increased capacity, and we also have to make sure we retain the core of the current support, who are understandably disillusioned.

You can talk about custodians, directors of football, managers and coaches, but ultimately the most important people at a football club are the supporters and the players. The relationship between them dictates whether the club is in a good place, and right now it is pretty clear that Hearts are not. The team has no identity and it needs sorted urgently.