Gary Mackay: Too many changes one of many issues new Hearts manager must address

More consistency needed in team selection

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 6:00 am
Gary Mackay wants to see more consistency in the Hearts team

There are a number of issues concerning me after Sunday’s 5-0 loss against Rangers at Ibrox. The scoreline is bad enough but there are other matters contributing to it which the new manager must address once he arrives.

In general, the amount of individuals who have been used in every single position over the last few years is a concern. That needs to be changed quickly.

If you look at where Hearts were under Robbie Neilson’s stewardship, and the stability he brought to the starting line-up, you knew roughly who you were going to watch week in and week out.

Sign up to our Hearts newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

That allowed the team to build an understanding, which bred confidence in the players and helped earn some consistent results during Robbie’s time in charge.

The amount of continual change in the team has been notable since he left for MK Dons and it has had a damaging effect. I can’t think of the last time Hearts went through two or three games with the same team taking to the field.

That has a massive impact on players. Years ago, if your team won and you were part of it as a footballer, then you expected to play in the next match barring injury.

Right now, that is another part of the challenge facing Austin MacPhee and the players before any new manager is appointed.

I can understand the changes being made against Celtic and Rangers. Those two clubs are proving domestically and in the European arena that they are progressing to a level which might leave everybody else in Scotland behind soon.

You do have to put something in place to try and stop those juggernauts when you come up against them, especially away from home in Glasgow.

Against every other team in Scotland, Hearts should be setting their stall out and getting on the front foot as a team capable of turning over any opponent on a regular basis.

We have to get back to that but we are a long way away from it at the moment.