Craig Levein admits his side didn’t play to the best of their abilities in last night’s 0-0 draw with Hibs but has praised his players for their desire to compete during what has been a difficult time for the team.
Missing several key players through injury and suspension, the likes of Peter Haring and Callumn Morrison found themselves in unfamiliar positions of the first Edinburgh derby of the season.
A typical frantic affair unfolded at Tynecastle, with the Jambos nearly grabbing the winner in stoppage time only for Haring to be flaged offside as Lewis Stevenson headed Clevid Dikamona’s nod goalwards into his own net.
The manager thanked his players after the game for giving their all, and now turns his attentions to Saturday’s top of the table clash at Celtic.
“It was a frustrating evening,” he told HeartsTV. “One part of the frustration was that we didn’t play as well as I would’ve liked us to.
“I can kind of understand it; the first Edinburgh derby of the season, all the talk about competing and not losing the match, and making sure we were aggressive…all of these things - which we were – but one of the things we have been consistent with this season has been playing decent football, and we forgot.
“At half time I said to them; all credit for your effort and your desire and your willingness to compete but we need to play football to win the game.
“I thought we were better in the second half. I really did. I thought we were the best side in the second half by a fair margin, even before Hibs lost a man.
“We probably didn’t create enough chances but there are reasons for that. I can’t be too disappointed with the players tonight because they did try manfully to win the game, but it just wasn’t to be.
“They’re a good bunch of players. They’re a good group and they tried extremely hard and I think our supporters appreciated that.
“You saw that today and we maybe didn’t see as much good football as I would’ve liked to have seen and I’m sure they’re the same, but all credit to the boys for doing what they did tonight.
"We have to concentrate on putting on a performance now on Saturday at Celtic Park."
Craig’s post-match interview is available to watch in full on HeartsTV by clicking here.