Craig Levein was happy to proceed to the next stage of the Betfred Cup, but left disappointed by his side's draw against East Fife.
The Jambos played out a 1-1 tie with East Fife and ended up losing the bonus point as the hosts won 7-6 on penalties at Bayview.
"We're through. We've topped the group. But, it's not how I wanted to do it," the manager said.
"We suffered again today from the same thing that's been the case in the last three matches, which is not putting the ball in the back of the net and giving ourselves increasingly difficult situations to deal with."
The visitors went 1-0 ahead in the first-half through Jamie Walker, who scored his first goal since returning to the club.
However, Chris Duggan equalised in the second-half and despite numerous chances, Hearts could not re-take the lead.
"With us not scoring, the opposition get a lift and then it starts to creep into their confidence, and that's what we saw today. After East Fife scored their goal, they played with a freedom.
"I don't want to be too critical. At the beginning of the competition our aim was to get out of the group and we've done that, that's been achieved.
"The other games have been okay but today I thought we were poor."