First Team

Learning curve

13th September 2015

Neil Alexander insists lessons will be learned following Friday's defeat in Inverness.

Neil Alexander admitted Hearts were below par against Inverness on Friday night, but insisted lessons will be learned and the team will grow stronger.

The Jambos have tasted defeat in the last two games away to Hamilton and Inverness, and the Scotland cap disclosed that the team may need to focus more on defending if they aren’t getting the breaks in the forward areas.

“We’re a young squad and we’re learning, and we have to learn to maybe be a bit stronger mentally,” said Alexander. “We have to realise that when things aren’t happening at one end we must be solid at the other.

“We are so determined to play well, create chances and score goals that we’re maybe too keen sometimes to go forward. But it’s a learning curve for everyone and we’re realistic enough to know we are not going to play well every week and win.

“We huffed and puffed and didn’t create any clearcut chances, which was disappointing. But when that happens you’ve got to be tight at the back and the worst that happens is a 0-0 draw.”

The team travelled up to the Highlands the night before the game in order to maximize preparation time, but the performance left everybody disappointed during their long journey home after the match.

“We were full of belief that we could get something out of the game. But it didn’t work out for whatever reasons. We were a bit flat.

“Life goes on, however, and we’ll recover and prepare right. We have three huge games (Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, Celtic) in the next couple of weeks to concentrate on so it’s back to the drawing board, and focus on where we went wrong. 

“Yes, we’re disappointed with the last couple of results but we’ve got a lot of belief in ourselves. We aren’t under any illusions. We know it will be tough, but we’ve got a good bunch of lads and it does not take much motivation to get yourself up for those sorts of games. 

“Every game is hard and it’s going to be a tough season. But the players are learning and growing every week and we’re gaining more experience, which will serve us well in the long run.”

Finally, the former Rangers and Cardiff City man offered his thanks to the 1000+ supporters who’d travelled up the A9 on a Friday night for a televised match, and apologised that the team hadn’t delivered a more memorable result. 

“It’s disappointing that we couldn’t give our fans something in return for them travelling a long way to Inverness in such big numbers. 

"They’ve been magnificent and the fact the Aberdeen match was already a sell-out a few weeks ago shows how well they have got behind us, so we’re sorry we couldn’t get them the win in Inverness.”