Don Cowie was left ruing a poor Hearts display at Motherwell as the Jambos lost out on the chance to close the eight point gap held by Aberdeen.
Hearts' first post-split match ended in defeat as Lionel Ainsworth's first-half strike proved the difference between the two sides at Fir Park. Speaking to the media post-match, Don Cowie admitted Hearts simply weren't good enough on the day.
“That was disappointing. With Aberdeen losing on Friday night it was a great chance for us. We’ve talked over the last few weeks about how our target was them.
“When you get that bonus of them losing it was up to us to go and take advantage. But we just weren’t good enough on the day. We need to find out why that was.”
Insisting the team had not yet given up hope, however, of achieving their final goal of the season, Cowie set his sights on securing maximum points in the remaining fixtures.
“We still have to play Aberdeen in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be hard to get second now but you have to keep believing and keep going.
"There are still 12 points to play for. We’ll look at this game and where we went wrong and I expect everyone will hold their hands up and admit it wasn’t good enough.
With four games remaining in the SPFL Premiership campaign, the Scotland cap revealed his determination to ensure the team head into the summer break in a confident frame of mind.
“We’ve got four games to put that right. The boys have had a tremendous season so far so we don’t want it to end on a sour note, and winning breeds confidence,” admitted Cowie.
“It will be a difficult season next year as well and football can change very quickly so you have to keep it going. We’ve got four games coming up and hopefully we can do well and get ready for next year.”