Neil Alexander admitted Hearts' performance in in their 1-0 defeat to Motherwell was 'way below the standards expected' at the club.
Lionel Ainsworth's first-half strike was enough to seal all three points for the Steelmen on Saturday, denying Hearts the chance to close the gap on Aberdeen. Speaking to the media post-match, Neil said:
“We’re bitterly disappointed with the performance, and the result as well.
“They’re a difficult team to play against, and we had to pass the ball a lot from side to side in our own half.
“They were content to play us on the break, and we couldn’t break them down, so credit to them as their game plan worked but we need to learn why their plan worked and ours didn’t.
“Today was way below the standards expected at this football club set by the manager, who rightly told us what he thought of us today.
“There’s been a real chance for us to make ground on Aberdeen in the past two games, and we’ve blown those both, which is bitterly disappointing.”
Finally, Alexander reassured supporters that the players were determined to end the season well with the first Europa League qualifier taking place just six weeks after the conclusion of the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign.
“We have a short summer break with the European tie being played at the end of June, so we’ll be carrying any momentum from the season into the tie with us.
“That’s why it’s vitally important that we end the season on a winning note, and we go into the close-season high on confidence and ready to make our mark when we play our first European game.”