Gary Mackay: This Hearts team has potential to get even better

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If you’ve got a five-point lead in any league, you’ve earned that by being the best team in it to that point.

Five points is a good cushion at any stage of the season, and it’s not easy for a chasing pack to turn it round. While Hearts are trying to continue this run and amass points, we have to hope that our closest rivals keep dropping points.

Steven Naismith celebrates

Steven Naismith celebrates

We have the luxury of knowing that if we drop points, we can’t be knocked off the top straight away, which is a wonderful position to be in. It is too early to say we’ll be up there at the end of the season but, having won every game at a time when none of our rivals have managed that, we certainly look like a team that can challenge.

We have made significant improvement very quickly. I made no secret of my concerns about the level of player turnover over the summer but the new-look squad has gelled far better and far better quicker than I could have imagined. We’ve got Arnaud Djoum back in the equation and now Sean Clare to add to the mix so both those players should kick us on again in the coming weeks. The squad is building a real spirit and resilience and I’d like to think there’s still plenty more scope for improvement. If that materialises, who knows where it can take us.

We’ve now got a good chance to keep the run going at home to a Livingston side who have punched above their weight so far. They’ve shown they won’t be easy to beat but if you’re top of the league having won every game, Livingston at home is not a game you should be overly worried about.

We’re likely to have a big crowd at Tynecastle on Saturday and as supporters we’ve got to keep playing our part in pushing the team on because we have to recognise that there are a lot of new players in this team who are new to being top of the top league in the country. That brings its own challenges, in terms of pressure and opponents raising their game against you or sitting in and being hard to break down, but the continued backing of the Hearts support can make a difference and help maintain the positivity running through the club at present.