Talking point: Hearts fans' derby anger makes semi-final victory vital

After the full-time whistle blew and Hibs had won in Gorgie for the first time since 2013, there were more than a few Hearts fans who directed their anger at the home dugout as a once-promising season served up another disappointment.

By Craig Fowler
Saturday, 6th April 2019, 4:24 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th April 2019, 4:34 pm
A dejected Christophe Berra walks off the park at full-time.
A dejected Christophe Berra walks off the park at full-time.

Injuries have hindered Craig Levein's side, but there have been enough subpar showings to against weaker opponents to have the support deservedly disgruntled. The defeat to Hibs wasn't anywhere near one of the worst performances this season, but the reaction from the fans is what happens when there's so little credit in the bank.

Fortunately for the Hearts manager and the players, football is very much a 'what have you done for me lately?' kind of business and the season isn't over yet.

The thought of Hearts smashing up the league table to reach the European places by dominating the teams above them after the split is fanciful at this moment in time, but thankfully for them it isn't the only avenue available in which to end the season on a major positive.

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Next week Hearts take on Inverness CT in the Scottish Cup semi-final. If they are able to perform in the same manner they did against Hibs - aside from the wasteful finishing - then they will make it to their first Hampden final since 2013. Regardless of whether they are playing Celtic or Aberdeen, they will not be favourites for that match, but at least giving the supporters the opportunity to dream could stop them from truly becoming mutinous before the summer arrives.

And who knows, the remaining five league matches could offer up some hope for the cup final, if not next season. Nobody expected Hearts to fly out of the traps at the beginning of the season and lead the league table into November when they were behind held 0-0 at half-time at Tynecastle, one week after drawing with Raith Rovers, against League Two Cowdenbeath.

Sometimes it takes just a small adjustment or one moment to turn everything. Steven Naismith returning before the end of the season, as Hearts are confident he will, will also keep hope alive.

First, though, they need to take care of business against Inverness. Because a defeat to the Championship side could be too much for a support already at the end of its tether.