Gary Mackay: The worst result ever for Hearts - it will take an almighty effort to bounce back
No disrespect to Brora Rangers, it doesn’t matter what Hearts team is put out – you should be winning that match. It is embarrassing. It’s just not acceptable.
If you look back over the past five years, we’ve had some terrible results. The 5-0 defeat by Livingston in late 2018 should have triggered a mass clear-out within the football department. And then you have this season, where we’ve exited the cups to Alloa – albeit in our own division – and then Brora, who are not even a league team. This is to do with the failings of Hearts’ football department.
Was I surprised by the result? Not entirely, because of the history of the football club in past five, six years, and that is galling.
As a football club, we have picked the wrong people to listen to. We have a board that has made too many wrong decisions. Something has to give, or it will be the supporters who will crack and that will happen through the Foundation of Hearts and pledges.
We’ve been on a decent run in the league but it’s hard to be too overwhelmed by it considering the failings of the other clubs in our division. They’ve made life easier for Hearts. I do worry about whether this group, who were assembled with the Premiership in mind, are going to be able to cope in the Scottish top flight. It’s going to be a hard job to rebuild yet again – and that looks like the route we are going to have to go down. We’ve been papering over cracks recently.
I can only talk as a supporter, but this result will reverberate around our support for weeks, months and perhaps years. There cannot be any excuse that covers up the failings of last night and the feelings of the support, a support who is so close to being on the board due to the funds being raised.
I’m genuinely not sure how as a player or a manager you can recover from this while at Hearts. It’s a massive task. In my lifetime, this is the worst result for Hearts. I played in one of Hearts’ other Scottish Cup shocks when we lost to Forfar at Tynecastle in 1982. We were going through a rebuild, were a bit of a yo-yo team and Forfar were a league team and without making excuses for it, it’s not in the same ballpark as this, as brutal as it was. It will take an almighty effort to bounce back for some of those involved. Hearts supporters look for commitment and passion when you pull on a jersey, who go out and fight, and when Brora trump you on that, there is a serious problem. It makes me believe that changes need to be made at the very top.
It’s important now that we learn our lessons. Do those in situ at Hearts now have what it takes to flourish at the club? There will be some serious soul-searching going on. When the Foundation of Hearts go in and take control of this club, they will need to show backbone, because we have been too much of a soft touch and it needs to change.