Hearts were being touted as possible title challengers earlier this season.

A strong start had some tipping Craig Levein’s side to push Celtic all the way but it’s quickly gone wrong.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 22: Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes applauds fans at the final whistle during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Hearts at Pittodrie Stadium on December 22, 2018 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
(Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

Six months on and the Jambos are at serious risk of dropping out of the top six.

Gary Holt’s Livingston lurk in seventh place with only six points separating the two sides.

Bitter rivals Hibs are only a point further behind.

20th January 2019, Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, Scotland; Scottish Cup football fourth round, Heart of Midlothian versus Livingston; Craig Levein manager of Hearts watches from the stands
 (photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

The disappointing defeat by Dundee on Wednesday done the Gorgie side no favours but Levein needs to stop the rot.

Two wins from the last five league games simply isn’t good enough from the Jambos.

Levein has added new faces to his squad and will be hoping they can make a quick impact.

However after slating David Vanecek’s performance against Dundee it seems unlikely.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 07: Heart of Midlothian manager Craig Levein is seen during the Scottish Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Hearts at Ibrox Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Jambos face a tough run of games in the next few weeks and could find themselves really up against it.

The return of the likes of Stevie Naismith, Uche Ikpeazu and John Souttar should help.

But time is quickly going against them and a bottom six finish would be disastrous for Levein’s side.

After such a promising start, it would be simplistic to blame Hearts’ slump on one specific thing.

Levein has no choice now but to find answers to his side’s problems sooner rather than later.

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