Hearts manager Daniel Stendel says his side cannot afford to lose against St Mirren this week, as the Premiership relegation battle hots up.

The Jambos are currently bottom of the table again, after briefly lifting off the bottom with victory over Hibs last week.

Stendel knows the enormity of Wednesday (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Hamilton responded by beating Rangers, and followed that up with a win against Kilmarnock at the weekend, while Hearts could only draw 1-1 with Motherwell.

Brian Rice’s resurgent Accies have now moved up to 10th place, with St Mirren occupying the relegation play-off place, meaning Wednesday’s match is a literal bottom-of-the-table clash.

Looking ahead to the huge game, Stendel said (BBC Sport): “You can say we must not lose. After the last week we are in a good situation. We are unbeaten in four but we have only won one game. What we really want to change our situation is to win games.

Hearts are three points behind St Mirren (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“The situation is maybe new for Hearts but not new for other bigger clubs in every league. We think we have better players with more quality, more ambitions.

“You need to understand this is the reality at the moment and you need to find the right solution for this – not to live in the past and think I am better. Only when you win the game can you say then I am better.”

Hearts have four games remaining until the split.

Must-win for Hearts

Hearts are unbeaten in four but St Mirren are there for the taking having won only once in the league since the winter break.

Crunch time for Hearts (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Buddies will want to respond after their weekend thrashing by Celtic, but Stendel’s men have to prevent that and get out of the traps quickly at the Simple Digital Arena.

A draw won’t be good enough, and the Jambos must fight to take all three points in Paisley.

With Hamilton in the ascendancy, it is vital Hearts respond against a team they’re rubbing shoulders with in the league table.

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