Gary Mackay: Winning is Hearts’ priority over entertainment right now

Supporters of a football club can sometimes find it difficult, especially those of a club with a certain DNA.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 5:30 am
Uche Ikpeazu (centre) celebrates with the dugout after equalising for Hearts
Uche Ikpeazu (centre) celebrates with the dugout after equalising for Hearts

They want to be entertained in a certain way but, ultimately, winning matches is what counts. Hearts is a case in point right at this moment in time.

How do you balance winning football matches, which is the most important thing, against how you entertain? At this stage in the season, winning games overcomes being entertained. That’s what has happened in the past three games – two against Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup and one against Dundee in the league.

We haven’t played particularly well in any of the three if the truth be told. However, we are now in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup and we have a wee gap between ourselves and our local rivals in fifth position in the league.

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Approaching the middle of March, that’s not a bad position to be in all things considered. The upcoming semi-final against Inverness will have plenty sub-plots to it but the thing for the players will be to concentrate on the game in hand.

John Robertson is the Inverness manager, of course. Having worked at Tynecastle for so long and with such a close association with the club, he will know everything about the Hearts team. I’m sure that, between now and then, Hearts will do all their homework on Inverness to make sure they are well prepared.

I said last week that the cup draw has been kind to us. At Hampden, on such a wide pitch, our quality should come through and get us into the final.

There have been some disappointments in the season but, if you reach two semi-finals with a really strong chance of getting to a final, then you have to say it’s been a reasonably successful.

Sometimes it hasn’t been the best to watch but I think we would all accept that if it means there is a chance of silverware come the end of the campaign.