Hearts manager Daniel Stendel has revealed his side have been working to improve things defensively in recent weeks, ahead of tonight’s crunch Premiership match with Hibs.

The weekend saw the Jambos keep a rare clean sheet against Rangers in the Scottish Cup quarter-final, which was only their eighth of the season in all competitions.

Stendel said he was pleased with Rangers clean sheet (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Hearts have shut out their opposition on just four occasions in the league this term, which goes some way to explaining why they are currently bottom of the pile.

That said, to avoid conceding against Rangers last Saturday was a real positive, and Stendel has explained his side have been putting extra emphasis on shoring things up at the back.

He told Hearts’ official website: “The Rangers result was good for everyone; the team, the staff, the supporters. I told the players to enjoy this moment but on Sunday morning the only thing in our head was Hibs.

“We focused heavily on our defensive work in recent weeks. There was a big improvement against Rangers. Our problems haven’t been about high press or no press, it’s been about discipline and concentration. The biggest thing for me about the Rangers game was how good our discipline was and this must be the case against Hibs as well.

Left a happy man. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“We need the same attitude, mentality and quality in our game in order to win the points at Easter Road.”

Souttar injury a big blow

Hearts are up against it tonight with Hibs in great goalscoring form, but their task has been made all the more difficult with the loss of John Souttar to injury.

The 23-year-old was forced off with a hamstring injury against the Gers and was replaced by Clevid Dikamona who, to his credit, was quite solid at Tynecastle.

Hibs have plundered 15 goals in their last five games in all competitions and haven’t lost, meaning the likes of Dikamona and Craig Halkett will need to be fully concentrating at the back at Easter Road if the visitors are to come away with anything.

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