Ian Cathro praised Hearts’ character in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Hamilton but admitted massive relief was the overriding emotion.
The Edinburgh side hadn’t won for five games but dominated Accies with an efficient performance to earn three vital points.
Arnaud Djoum, Esmael Goncalves, Jamie Walker and substitute Malaury Martin scored the goals, although the Hamilton goalkeeper Gary Woods was outstanding. He was almost a one-man barrier to Hearts throughout the first half with a string of fantastic saves until Djoum broke the resistance seconds before the interval.
Cathro stressed that his team thoroughly merited their victory after a hard few weeks which saw supporters criticise both management and players.
“Everybody’s performance was rewarded with the result,” he told the Evening News. “We didn’t feel we deserved to lose the last game, against Ross County. We felt we did enough to earn a better result. It’s about how we deal with that and how strong we stay. Our character throughout Saturday’s game, even when there were a lot of good saves in the first half; a lot of chances which didn’t go in, was pleasing. We had to stay focused and clear and keep pushing.
“With the win, there is a sense of relief. We feel the tension, we know we haven’t been delivering to the level we have to. We feel that relief but just enough to take us through until we get back to our day-to-day work.
“We controlled ourselves better in that first half. No stress crept in, there was no anxiety in our play. We kept the tension away and stayed focused on ourselves, what we had to do and our gameplan to break Hamilton down. That is excellent work.”