Daniel Stendel has pinpointed the tactics which helped Hearts win Sunday’s epic battle with Rangers 2-1 at Tynecastle.
After a spirited first half, Ryan Kent put the Gers ahead. It was a blow for the Jambos but they didn’t fold after this setback. Instead, they came roaring back.
Steven Naismith netted against his former side before debutant Liam Boyce stole the headlines with a winner in the closing stages. It puts a dent in Rangers’ title challenge whilst Hearts are now three points from safety.
Stendel has explained how the Jambos secured this feat. He told Hearts’ website: “I’m a little bit delighted. It was a very good performance from my team today. In some situations, we had a bit of luck today, but they never scored the second goal and we believed we could change the result.
“We did, and I’m happy the players have success for their hard work. It’s time for us to change the situation in the table. After Wednesday, we talked with the players and I said ‘Believe what I say is right, this is the way we will play, this is the right way.’
“I can understand it’s not so easy when you don’t win but you can believe we will find success, and you can see today in every situation we had the courage to defend in front, to attack in the front, to press high and we believed even at 1-0 down that we can win this game. The last ten minutes, the fight on the pitch from everybody was great.”
Hearts have enjoyed success against Rangers in Gorgie this season. Of the 17 points they’ve accumulated this season, four of them have come through positive Jambo results against Rangers.
Stendel’s gegenpressing has been evident for weeks. But against Rangers, it really came to fruition. The Ibrox side couldn’t settle in possession and Hearts made them pay for mistakes.
It’s important that this is the start of Stendel’s renaissance. Four games unbeaten and fuelled by a massive win over Rangers, securing a few more wins to get away from the bottom two now is key.
Sunday brought about Stendel’s finest moment as Jambos boss so far and he’ll look for plenty more before May.