Hamilton 2-1 Hearts: Three things learned as Jambos hit rock bottom in the Premiership

Accies win first game in 12 as Edinburgh club are left three points adrift

Saturday, 21st December 2019, 5:32 pm
Updated Saturday, 21st December 2019, 5:34 pm
Steven Naismith captained Hearts on his return from injury

Bottom at Christmas

Defeat leaves Hearts three points adrift at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership for Christmas. It is an unacceptable situation that the Edinburgh club, with a wage bill of more than £8million, are currently the worst side in Scotland's top division. They arrived at Hamilton joint-bottom with their opponents but suffered a costly loss after an encouraging start to the match. The team bottom at Christmas often struggles to recover in the second half of the campaign, so Hearts must muster strength of character to save their Premiership lives.

One goal in four games

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Oilver Bozanic's late header was nothing more than a consolation. It was also the first goal Hearts had scored in four matches, and only their second in the last seven fixtures, hence their fight against relegation. They have lacked genuine attacking threat for too long, dating back to the second half of last season. They did look more dangerous in the first half at Hamilton and should have been 1-0 ahead through Steven Naismith, whose cushioned volley went over the crossbar. For any club at the bottom of any league, when goalscoring chances arrive they must be converted to avoid the worst come the end of the season.

Two mammoth matches

Hearts are not too good to go down, make no mistake. They now face back-to-back home matches against Hibs and Aberdeen and simply must take points from at least one of them. They have won only two of their last 26 league matches and find themselves detached at the bottom of the Premiership as a result. An Edinburgh derby should not require any motivation, so the immediate task ahead is clear for Hearts. Losing to Hibs could potentially see them fall further adrift of the others in the relegation battle so all concerned have to show the required desire. It is a game which needs no billing and, for Hearts, will be one of the most important derbies in years.