Stephen Kingsley and Kyosuke Tagawa leave Hearts in a quandry ahead of Rangers match

An important few days lie ahead for the injured pair at Riccarton
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Hearts defender Stephen Kingsley and forward Kyosuke Tagawa both have an outside chance of returning from injury for Sunday's trip to Rangers. Coaching staff must wait to see how they progress at Riccarton this week, then decide whether to include them in the matchday squad for Ibrox.

The quandry of whether to plan for either player being available for such a vital game should become easier as the week progresses. Kingsley's groin strain is responding well so far, whilst Tagawa missed Sunday's defeat by Celtic after tweaking a hamstring at training. The Japanese was left out as a precaution.

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"We will wait and see how he is. Potentially he could be back," Hearts head coach Steven Naismith told the Evening News. "He felt his hamstring on Friday so you can't risk it at that point. If you are feeling something, then you won't be 100 per cent.

"Kingsley has progressed. He was out on the grass over the weekend doing a lot of work. The next two or three days will determine where he is at. He might join the training group this week at some point. It would be a boost to get him back. His performance levels this season have been really good. He has been one of the most consistent so having him back in the squad is important for us."

Naismith and the Hearts coaches intend to pore over Sunday's 4-1 loss in order to ensure players learn lessons quickly. "In respect of the goals we conceded, we will show the players. The first thing you need to do is be honest. If we are going to try and bluff our way through, it's not going to last," said Naismith.

"We will look at the goals, get input from the players and see what their thoughts are. They are such cheap goals and it can't happen. That's the honest truth. If you ask anybody on our side, no way did we defend well enough for the goals we conceded. You need to look at it because it's the only way you can learn. We can't continue to make these mistakes.

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"With the games coming thick and fast, you do need to learn and stop making the same mistakes. Things like communication and reading a situation play a big part. It's not all physical: 'Are we just not quick enough or sharp enough?' It's everything round about it. That's something you need to learn over time. We will review it in and out of possession, see the good things and what we asked them to do beforehand, plus also see what we need to get better at."

Asked if Hearts lacked intensity and aggression in the match, Naismith gave his view. "The aggression part, yeah. When we decided to press, the contrast from the game last season to this season was totally different," he said.

"When you play against a Champions League team like Celtic, then if you are not at it at the right time then they will pop the ball around you. That's what we saw at times. It might just be a very small detail but it has a big impact in the game. If you are not right, they will play through you and get chances."

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