A big game at Dens Park took place at the weekend, with a potential impact on both top and bottom of the table. Dundee would’ve seen their home match with an out of form Hearts as a great opportunity to collect a valuable three points.
However, the Jambos emerged victorious thanks to a scrappy Sean Clare goal. With an even bigger match round the corner, Hearts couldn’t ended their recent woes at a better time.
Craig Levein’s side appear to have hit various peaks and troughs throughout their season. Their win at Dens Park was their first in five in all competitions. They hadn’t won for nearly a month, their last victory coming over junior outfit Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup.
Since that day they’ve suffered a last-gasp loss away to Motherwell, dropped points at home to St Mirren and looked to be on course for a point at home to Celtic. A spirited 10-man Hearts were eventually broken thanks to a last-minute Odsonne Edouard winner. Fine margins in both defeats.
The St Mirren point was obviously a frustration but so was their draw away at Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup. However, the win in the city of discovery should give them a new lease of life and confidence in order to book their semi-final spot.
What’s to come
A bizarre realisation is that Hearts have won as many league games on the road as they have at Tynecastle (seven). With only four coming all of last season, they have a great chance to double last season’s tally away at Hamilton at the weekend. Get their inconsistent home form sorted and they could still be in for a successful season.
However, the Partick replay is the hurdle of more importance. The Jambos haven’t been in a Scottish Cup semi-final since going on to win it in 2012. A poor league showing may be forgiven with an excellent cup run. The draw has been generous for the most part but you can only beat what’s in front of you.
The cup is a welcome bonus as Levein’s side aim to reach both major cup semi-finals this season. Only four points off third-placed Aberdeen, Hearts have it all to play for in the league too. They host the Dons prior to the split, along with Edinburgh rivals Hibs so not all is lost just yet.