First Team

Improvement Needed

25th January 2019

Christophe Berra is confident he and his teammates can move on from the midweek loss to Dundee when they take on St Johnstone at Tynecastle this Saturday.

A slow start from the Jambos allowed Dundee into the match and they couldn't recover as Andrew Nelson capitalised on a defensive mistake to win it for the Dark Blues.

"It was obvioulsy a disappointing result, given our home record," Christophe said. "First-half, we didn't really perform - all credit to Dundee - second-half we were better, created chances, but just couldn't put the ball in the net. That's football for you, you've got to be thick-skinned and move on. We've got another game tomorrow against a tough opponent and we'll have to drastically improve our performance."

Fans were left frustrated after the result - a feeling that the skipper empathised with: "They just want to see us winning games, at Tynecastle especially. They pay their money, they earn the right to vent their frustration - Tynecastle hasn't changed since I made my debut! It's the same at other grounds around the country."

"They've not seen many losses at Tynecastle over the last year or so, especially against the bottom of the league. But, all credit to Dundee, they came and had a good game plan and we weren't ready for it."

But, Christophe knows that he and his teammates are in for a tough task at the weekend against St Johnstone.

"Last season they maybe hadn't hit the standards they had in the previous year but they've picked up again this year. They've built a good foundation, they're winning games and the manager has done a great job once again.

"It's a big game for us - we beat them at home already, we drew at their place last year and last season we won three of four games against them as well so we'll be going into it confident. We've put the last game to bed now and it's a new game, new opposition, new expectations, pressure, and it's a game we're looking forward to.

The captain was also confident that David Vanecek will come back a lot stronger after his performance against Dundee. "David has come in from a different style of football. His season finished at the end of November. He had a little time off. You can do fitness work on the treadmill and go runs, but nothing beats training on the pitch, doing short and sharp work, especially when you're a striker.

"We know we've signed a good player but it's just getting him match fit and getting him to adapt to the Scottish game as quickly as possible."

You can watch all of Christophe's press conference on HeartsTV by clicking here.