Gary Locke praised his players' work effort after the 2-1 defeat to Hibs on Thursday night, but admitted the penalty incident was a sore one to take.
Hibs scored the winner from the penalty spot after Jordan McGhee was judged to have brought down Lewis Stevenson, much to the dismay of the Hearts players and management.
"It's a very difficult one to take. We worked our socks off to get back into the game, so to lose to such a controversial goal is a hard one to take," said Locke.
"They put us under pressure, particularly on set plays, which we expected. They're a big team but we defended really well," he continued.
Despite the defeat, Locke took pride in the way his players applied themselves and hopes their luck will turn in the second half of the season.
"I couldn't be prouder of the players, they gave us everything and hopefully in the second half of the season they'll get the breaks they deserve," Locke explained.
The Gaffer was dealt a blow prior to kick off as Captain Danny Wilson pulled out due to illness, but Locke remains hopeful that he can return to the side for the visit of Partick Thistle on Sunday.
"The main thing is to keep everyone fit. We lost the skipper just before the game, but if we get everyone fit we'll give ourselves a better chance. We've got two or three injuries that are certainly costing us at the moment," he said.