Hearts manager, Daniel Stendel, was left flummoxed by his side’s dreadful showing at St Mirren on Wednesday night as they succumbed to a damaging 1-0 defeat.
The Jambos came into the bottom of the table clash at the Simple Digital Arena on a four-game unbeaten run in all competitions but lacked creativity and quality against a fired-up Buddies.
Jon Obika’s goal gave the hosts a well-deserved lead in the 48th minute, but despite Stendel introducing Liam Boyce, Andrew Irving and Ryo Meshino at various points of the second half, his side drew a blank.
Speaking after the game, he was clearly bitterly disappointed and at times almost lost for words, taking long pauses between responses to collect his thoughts.
“I think from the first moment we were not ready for this game and didn’t play the way we wanted to play,” he said. “St Mirren played as we expected, but for us, not everybody was ready to take the fight and win the game and that’s the biggest disappointment.”
“I cannot understand, I have no reasons for this [the lack of fight from players]. Especially after last week and our results…there are no reasons for a performance like this.”
The result saw Saints move six points ahead of Hearts into ninth, with the Edinburgh club now four points adrift of Hamilton at the foot of the table.
Yet, while it’s a blow to their survival hopes with just eight games remaining, the ex-Barnsley boss isn’t giving up just yet.
“It’s a big big punch for us and especially after the last week,” he continued. “I can say I never give up and I expected this from my players, but we cannot play like this.”
“It doesn’t matter if we win or lose a game we cannot play with so little fight about our position in the league and for our club. It was, in the first half, not good enough.
“The next game is Sunday, that’s the next chance, but we need wins. It doesn’t matter how many, we need wins and with performances like this we won’t have many.”