Hearts put up a fight against Celtic and deserved a goal for their efforts, even if they didn’t deserve to take anything from the match says Daniel Stendel.
The Jambos went down swinging against the Hoops but it was all in vain. After a spirited opening 25 minutes, two goals from Ryan Christie and Olivier Ntcham settled a comfortable 2-0 away win.
Stendel’s high pressing tactics did trouble the Hoops in spells but it wasn’t enough to lift them off joint-bottom. Stendel believes though that a goal was what his side deserved on the night.
He told BT Sport 1 (21:54, 18/12/19): “I think for 90 minutes we tried to play in front. Celtic had two or three big chances to score in the second half but they scored with their first on our goal.
“It was hard for my team after we invested so much into the first 20 minutes. Celtic deserved to win but we deserved to score. The players need to believe more and I’ve told them this is the first step in front.”
Positives to take
Whilst not a positive outcome against Celtic, many wouldn’t have been surprised if the scoreline was a lot worse for Hearts. To come away without a heavy defeat and a spirited display in stages to boot will please Stendel.
His gegenpressing was evident in the opening 25 minutes and it did trouble Celtic in possession. A lack of firepower up top shot them in the foot, however, and they were eventually punished.
An even bigger game awaits them now. Hearts will travel to face Hamilton on Saturday, who they are joint-bottom with. It’s a make or break game for both sides as a win for either outfit would leave the other bottom.
Their Celtic performance must be built on by Stendel as he looks to drag the Tynecastle side out the bottom two.