Why Hearts' huge shots tally against Dundee leaves players cursing themselves

Ultimately, Hearts feel Saturday was two points dropped. It is difficult to argue otherwise given they were 1-0 ahead with seven minutes remaining against the Premiership’s second-bottom team.

Hearts assistant coach Lee McCulloch in the technical area.
Hearts assistant coach Lee McCulloch in the technical area.

Jason Cummings’ late header rescued a point for Dundee and left Hearts cursing their profligacy. The hosts had 21 attempts at goal to the opposition’s six and should have converted more than John Souttar’s first-half opener, albeit that was a sublime strike arcing high into the corner of the net.

Players and management tried to keep events in perspective while Dundee celebrated a draw at full-time. Both teams were promoted from the Championship and Hearts are unbeaten, keeping pace at the top of the league thus far.

The gnawing belief that an opportunity was missed at the weekend lingers but must be overcome before kick-off at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday.

“If we want to maintain our standards at the top of this league then these are the games we need to be winning,” admitted captain Craig Gordon. “We’re disappointed with this result but, even though we weren’t at our very best, we should have won.

“We controlled the game and passed the ball well at times but we didn’t put them away and we’ve paid the price for it. One-goal leads can always be dangerous.”

The suggestion is Hearts need to be more clinical having drawn with Aberdeen, Hibs, Ross County, Rangers and Dundee in their ten league games so far.

“I think that’s fair and, hopefully, we can be,” added Gordon. “We need to score more goals but we’re at least creating chances and I’m sure the guys at the top end of the pitch will be notching a few before too long.”

Top goalscorer Liam Boyce limping off with a calf injury doesn’t help, although the 20 points garnered is still a huge positive. “It’s a good total at this stage but when you put yourselves in such a good position and then drop silly points you know that you could have even more, which is annoying.

“One or two of those points were won against the run of play but the majority of them were very well deserved. We’re at the top of the league on merit and we’ll go again.”

Gordon was caught in the face by Dundee substitute Cillian Sheridan, who injected the visitors with fresh impetus int he second half. “You can see that my nose is bigger than it used to be. I haven’t seen a replay but I took a knock to the face. I don’t know whether it was his trailing leg or what.”

“Dundee were delighted to get a point here and you could see that by their celebrations. I told the boys afterwards that we’ve transformed ourselves back into a big team.

“That’s credit to everyone on the staff but with that comes the responsibility to go out and do it every single week. We need to do that to stay at this end of the table.”

Hearts (3-4-3): Gordon; Souttar, Halkett, Kingsley; M Smith, Devlin, Baningime, Cochrane; McKay (Ginnelly 77), Boyce (Gnanduillet 60), Woodburn (Mackay-Steven 46).

Dundee (4-3-3): Legzdins; Kerr, Ashcroft, Sweeney, Marshall; McGhee, Adam, Anderson; McMullan (Cummings 62), Griffiths (Sheridan 69), McCowan (Mullen 56).

Referee: Gavin Duncan.

Attendance: 17,677.

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