After a 5-0 humbling on Friday night at the hands of Livingston, the Hearts players cancelled their Christmas trip to Prague.
According to the Evening News, it was a decision taken solely by the playing staff, not Hearts boss Craig Levein. Instead of jetting off to the Czech capital for a break, they will instead stay on home soil, to prepare for next weekend’s Aberdeen clash.
There is no denying, that the Jambos’ incredible self-destruction was a massive blow to the side. They had just registered their first victory in seven last weekend, which was a step in the right direction. To think it was still 0-0 with 20 minutes to go again the Lions is mind-boggling.
Whilst this shows the players are committed to the cause, a break might not have been the worst thing for this Hearts side.
The Jambos need to clear their heads
Hearts need focus to prepare themselves for an in-form Aberdeen side, both mentally and physically. This is why a break in Prague could have been a problem solver for Levein.
For one it gets his players out of the spotlight. Now they have decided to stay in the country after their hammering in Lothian, the will have the eyes of the media, and fans, glued to them throughout the week.
The trip abroad would have allowed the players to regroup and come back stronger. Hearts are in dire need of something to help them get points on the board. A chance to forget about past results might have done the trick.
It hasn’t gone Hearts’ way in recent months, but it’s not like they’ve had a bad season. They were being credited as dark horses for the league title just a few months ago, after seven wins and a draw in their opening eight fixtures.
They have also had to deal with a number of key absentees. Steven Naismith, John Souttar and Uche Ikpeazu have all been out for months, whilst Christophe Berra has just returned from a three month injury lay-off. Considering their missing a number of key stars, to still be four points off the top isn’t bad going.
Friday night’s result was a blow yes, but it was a freak result. The Hearts players gave up, and they will know now, that they can’t afford to do that ever again. They need to regroup following this crushing defeat, and a trip to Prague is really what the players need just now.