It is fair to say that the recent 3-2 loss to Motherwell was not the best day for Hearts. Not only did the Tynecastle side go bottom of the Premiership table to increase the pressure on Craig Levein, but Conor Washington suffered a hamstring tear that will rule him out for three months.
One of the very few bright spots on the day for Hearts was that Uche Ikpeazu opened his scoring account for the season.
Now Hearts go into the Edinburgh derby at Easter Road, a game which they really need to take something from. If Hearts are to get a victory at the home of Hibs, their hopes could rest with Ikpeazu.
First goal of season came at good time
His first goal of the season has come at a good time for the player. It will give him some much-needed confidence.
With Washington out for months, Ikpeazu becomes an even more important player for Hearts. If he is at his best, he could cause a Hibs side who are lacking in confidence plenty of problems at Easter Road.
It should be remembered that he scored Hearts’ equaliser in the last meeting between the teams, the 1-1 draw in April.
Should Steven Naismith be fit for the game, he and Ikpeazu could play together. That is a striking combination that could be a match-winner for Hearts on the day.
Team’s defending will also need to improve
Of course, Hearts will need to improve their defending if they are to get a result in the derby. It has been their defending and not their attacking that has really let the team down this season.
The game could well be a very tense affair, with few goals scored. Neither side will want to concede and make the first mistake.
If it is a game of few chances, Hearts will be hoping that Ikpeazu is able to find the back of the net for the second game in a row.