Gary Mackay: Why Hearts face five vital games before Christmas

Hearts are now entering a crucial period of five games in the run-up to Christmas. It’s a sequence which could define the season.

By Gary Mackay
Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 7:00 am
Hearts fans want a response from their team against St Mirren.
Hearts fans want a response from their team against St Mirren.

We have taken only one point in nine from our last three away matches after losing 2-0 at Motherwell on Saturday. The next away trip is to Celtic, who are cruising along very well at this moment in time.

First up it’s St Mirren at Tynecastle this Saturday, which is about bouncing back from a poor performance. Even if you take away the actual result at Fir Park, it was a sub-standard display from Hearts and they haven’t been guilty of that too often this season.

Does the comfort of Tynecastle inspire the Hearts players with the backing they get there? It probably does, but you need to remember you won’t see many bigger away crowds following Hearts than there was at Motherwell on Saturday.

A travelling support of 3,295 is nothing short of tremendous for what is a league game in the middle of a season. The fans who travelled deserved better than what they saw and I certainly can’t blame them for venting their disappointments.

Now we have the two teams above us to play in the next five games. One of them is away, Celtic, and the other is at home, Rangers. The other games are against three teams who aren’t expected to match Hearts over the course of a full campaign – St Mirren, Livingston and Dundee.

It’s an interesting mix of fixtures and they will present quite contrasting challenging for the coaches and players at Tynecastle. It’s always about trying to amass as many points as we possibly can. That said, if you looked at it as a six-game period, then you would have been looking at getting something from Motherwell.

That hasn’t happened so we need to make sure we dust ourselves down and go again. Make sure there is no kind of fallout from Fir Park, respond positively and make sure the crowd who showed their disappointment at full-time on Saturday are up for it and right behind the players come kick-off against St Mirren.

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