It is fair to say that Hearts boss Craig Levein is already under pressure. The Tynecastle side have laboured at the start of the season.

An unconvincing Betfred Cup group stage was followed by a 3-2 loss to Aberdeen on the opening weekend of the league season.

Struggled against newly promoted side

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The Jambos did show some fight at Pittodrie, but that wasn’t the case in the second league game of the season, where they struggled to a 0-0 draw with Ross County.

In fact, they were indebted to County missing a late penalty, otherwise a bad day would have been even worse.

Hearts need to start winning games. It may be early in the season, but the pressure is already on. That is why the next three games are so important to Hearts and Levein.

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The first game is a Betfred Cup trip to Fir Park to play Motherwell. Hearts did well in the cups last season, reaching a semi-final and a final. They need a win at Fir Park or Levein will come under even further scrutiny.

Performance against champions will be important

That is followed by a league visit to Celtic Park. Celtic are in rampant form at the moment, so Hearts may struggle there. However, if they go down fighting, that would ease the pressure on the manager.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Finally, in the last game before the international break, Hearts take on Hamilton at home. A game that they will be expected to win, same as the Ross County game.

Should Hearts end the three games with two wins and a creditable performance against Celtic, it will be a boost to the manager going forward.

Anything less than that will just put the spotlight back on Levein.

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