Gary Mackay: Prince Buaben was a big miss for Hearts

Prince Buaben. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Prince Buaben. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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Saturday’s frustrating draw at Dumbarton showed just how important the favoured central-midfield pairing of Morgaro Gomis and Prince Buaben is going to be for Hearts this season.

Their partnership has been integral to our impressive start and it was clear that we were missing something without Buaben on the pitch.

That is not meant as a negative against whoever replaces either Gomis or Buaben if they’re out; it’s simply that they have an understanding between themselves which is hard to replicate if either of them are missing.

I’m not too downbeat about dropping points. If someone had offered us the chance to be a point clear after five games with consecutive home games against Cowdenbeath and Livingston to come, we’d have been absolutely delighted.

I think I would have been more concerned if we hadn’t have created chances at Dumbarton, but we had a multitude of opportunities. It was just one of those frustrating days when not a lot went for us. I don’t usually have a pop at officials but I don’t think we were helped much by some of their decisions.

I wouldn’t call Saturday a wake-up call, but it certainly showed that just having more talented players than the opposition won’t always be enough to win games in this division – we’ll need to match them in terms of workrate.

Saturday’s game was a massive one for Dumbarton with a rare full house and their players seemed to respond positively to that. At the same time, the Hearts players might have found it hard to rouse themselves properly at a new-build ground which is certainly lacking the type of atmosphere the old Boghead used to generate.

Our blip at the weekend was exacerbated slightly by the fact Rangers showed on Friday night that they mean business. They look like they’re going to be our main challenger this season, but we shouldn’t be daunted by them as we’ve already beaten them away from home.

I’m sure the home crowd will lift Hearts in the next two games. If we can take six points from those games, that’ll be us right back on track and Saturday will be forgotten about.