Conor Washington has revealed that the first team is more united than ever after a routine of team bonding activities and grueling double training sessions.
The Northern Ireland striker is back in the fold following a four-month injury lay-off and made his return to the pitch in the 1-1 draw with Aberdeen prior tie the winter break.
With more players returning to fitness and the dressing room once again filling up, the 27-year-old outlined how close bonds have been forged through a mix of team-building exercises and physically demanding training sessions – crucial as the Jambos look to hit the ground running in 2020.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Conor said: “The guys in the dressing room are all bonding, very much so. I think we’ve probably done more as a team in the past couple of weeks than we have since however long I’ve been here, six months maybe? Which is been really important, I think.
“We’re all united and nobody wants to be in this situation so we all need to pull in the same direction. Hopefully you’ll be able to see that in the coming weeks.
“We did an army team-building thing the other day, we’ve been go-karting. Little things like that and being in for double sessions and getting abused to be honest.
“That’s about as good as team bonding can get, going through physical pain together. The longer hours we’ve been in has given us more time to just get to know each other, I guess.
“It’s a group effort. Even the younger lads have been good at stepping up. I wouldn’t say there’s been a particular leader as such, it’s probably more of a five or six senior pros kind of approach, and the manager is doing a lot of it himself as well.
“I’m sure the manager will announce the captain or whichever direction he wants to go in and we’ll all follow that person because we’ll trust that the manager’s got that decision right.”
Conor’s pre-match press conference is available to watch in full on HeartsTV by clicking here.