John Souttar believes last Sunday’s 4-0 demolition of Celtic can act as a watershed moment for everyone at Hearts.
The Tynecastle club have endured a difficult 2017 on and off the pitch, having been the subject of criticism for their underwhelming form and issues surrounding the redevelopment of their stadium.
However, after Hearts stunned Scottish football by ending Celtic’s historic 69-game unbeaten domestic run last Sunday, Souttar is hopeful that a positive vibe will now return to the club.
Asked about the effect of last weekend’s result, the defender said: “I think it’s taken away a lot of the negativity from the outside that was trying to get in. I don’t think we as players felt it but I felt there were a lot of things, even if it was to do with the new stand or whatever, people were looking to criticise. For people like Ann (Budge) that result was massive. It’s one of those results you look back on and think ‘wow’.”
The victory over Celtic was Hearts’ third league win in a row. Having been in seventh place and not far from the Premiership’s relegation zone at the start of December, they head to McDiarmid Park today three points above sixth-place St Johnstone and just three points behind fourth-place Hibs, who led them by 11 points a fortnight ago.
After today’s clash in Perth, Hearts host Hibs on Wednesday and then travel to Aberdeen next Saturday before a three-week winter break.
“Hopefully the Celtic game can be a defining moment for us because the league table looks a lot better than it did before,” said Souttar. “It just shows how quickly things can change.
“We’ve gone under the radar a bit in the last few weeks, and sometimes that’s a good thing. This is now a massive week coming up for us.
“Hopefully we’ll come out of it in a good position. We want to have a good finish going into the break. We’ve had three good wins in a row against three good teams, and if we play anywhere near the way we did on Sunday, we’ll have a good chance in the games coming up.”