I suspect most Hearts fans saw this one coming – after all, Motherwell were undefeated since losing at Tynecastle in late December in Craig Brown`s first game as manager, while Hearts were still missing some key players.
The less said about the 3-1 defeat, the better. It seems that Hearts were simply not at the races against a rampant Motherwell side. ‘Well manager Brown admitted afterwards that his team played brilliantly, while Jim Jefferies was scathing about his team`s performance. Apparently it was only Laryea Kingston and David Templeton who earned pass marks, and JJ`s comments suggest that he saw some players in this match who will not be in his plans for the future.
The recent run of 3 away games was always going to be tough for a Hearts team which had lost its way a bit this season. However the win at Aberdeen followed by defeats at Tannadice and Fir Park do at least mirror the placings in the SPL, with Motherwell and Dundee United being deservedly well above Hearts – so we should perhaps not be too disappointed or surprised at this latest defeat. Erratic performances and results may actually reveal more to JJ about the playing squad than consistent winning would, so it will be very interesting to see what transfer activity happens at Hearts in the summer.
The next 2 games are also against teams much higher than Hearts – Hibs and Rangers. However with a bit of luck, home advantage should go some way to offset that, and we may have one or two key players available again. I think it`s fair to say that none of the players will be left in any doubt by Messrs Jefferies, Brown and Locke as to what is required on Saturday against Hibs !!
Hearts have organised a “Ask the Club” night on Monday 22nd March – where hopefully one of the questions will be “Were you disappointed to win the Derby by only 3 goals, Jim ?” The event will be recorded and shown free on the website – a fine idea to help get the fans behind the club once again, in the lead-up to the start of next season’s ticket sales. Many of the club`s senior managers and directors will be present, and I have a feeling that they may choose this event to make a significant announcement too – perhaps related to the stadium upgrade plans.
What do you make of the Motherwell result, and do you think Hearts will win the Derby ?