Kyle Lafferty believes the benchmark for the rest of the season has been set after Hearts defeated Celtic at Tynecastle yesterday.
The Northern Ireland striker hit a stunning second-half volley to bag all three points and he insists the Jambos must turn out performances like that on a regular basis if they are to finish among the top spots in the Labrokes Premiership.
“We have to look at overall team performances rather than just my goal,” he said. “From the first moment up until the 93rd minute, from the goalkeeper right up to big Uche - and even the guys who came off the bench - all gave 110%.
“I said after the game in the dressing room; that’s the Hearts team that I played against 8 or 9 years ago and I absolutely hated coming here (to Tynecastle).
“If want to do something this year then that’s the performance we have to give every single game, not just against Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen or Hibs.
“We have to give it every single game and if we do then we’ll be sitting in this position come the end of the season.”
Games against Celtic are always difficult, and the task was made even tougher when Hearts lost the services of captain Christophe Berra in the first half. Though Aaron Hughes slotted in seamlessly to help the men in maroon keep a clean sheet against the reigning champions, Kyle revealed just how big an influence the skipper is inside the dressing room.
“It looks like he’s taken a sore one,” he said. “We’ll see how he is over the next couple of days.
“Christophe’s probably been – since I’ve been – the signing of the whole league. Every single player respects him and looks up to him.
“That never-say-die attitude is something that he’s trying to get into the young lads.
“He’s going to be a miss if he’s out injured.”