Gary Locke admitted the battle to keep Hearts in the SPFL Premiership just got that much harder after today's 2-0 defeat to Partick Thistle at Tynecastle.
First-half strikes from Lyle Taylor and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair put the boys in maroon to the sword and left the Jambos 19 points adrift at the bottom of the division.
Speaking after the match, the gaffer revealed he was unhappy with the manner of the goals conceded, and the first half display in particular. In addition, Gary bemoaned the loss of experienced duo Jamie Hamill and Danny Wilson, both of whom were sorely missed in a disappointing performance.
"I was really disappointed with the first half display. The two goals that we conceded were a disaster", he explained. "It's extremely difficult for us now, that was a big game for us today. We lost the first header in the middle of the park for the first goal, the second was a free header."
"We work hard on our set pieces, so to lose a free header is just so disappointing. I think you saw how much we missed Danny Wilson and Jamie Hamill today, but that's a saving grace with them returning, so I can make a couple of changes this week. There's a few boys not doing their jobs well enough just now, and normally you'd like to take them out of the side, but I can do that now with them back."
The manager refused to use the effects of Thursday's derby as an excuse, and admitted that the job at hand was rapidly turning into an extremely difficult one given the points gap between Hearts and the teams above them.
"We've got to keep going. That's the mountain just gotten bigger. The most disappointing thing was that we only turned up for 45 minutes which isn't good enough. The lack of experienced players is old ground for us now, but it doesn't matter if it's a young side when we're not doing the basics right."
"They're young lads, and maybe the derby had an effect on them from Thursday but that's no real excuse and they should certainly be doing better than that."