Hearts manager Gary Locke has warned his young players that they must be at the top of their game for 90 minutes.
The Tynecastle outfit survived wave after wave of attacks in a one-sided first half at Partick Thistle on Friday evening.
However, the administration-hit club managed to claim a point after Jamie Walker notched a late equaliser just minutes after giving away the penalty that led to Scott Muirhead’s opener. The match finished 1-1, following on from Hearts’ 1-0 defeat to St Johnstone on the first weekend of the season and then the 1-0 victory over Hibs in the Edinburgh derby.
Locke was enthused by an improved showing following the break at Firhill but, with an 11-point gap to make up, knows they cannot afford to go off the boil for long spells of matches.
Ahead of this weekend’s visit of Aberdeen, Locke said: “I thought in the first half we were all over the place at times, we never got tight enough. They played the same system as us but the difference was that when they got the ball, they passed it and kept it simple. We got the ball and just gave it back to them.
“We had a wee word at half-time, we were disappointed with the first-half performance but the boys responded and I thought the second half performance was more like us. It was because we got closer to people and when we had the ball, we passed it. We’ve got a lot of good players in there, every day in training we encourage them to pass and move.
“On Friday night we did that for 45 minutes but it’s going to be required for 90 minutes. We did that against Hibs and got a favourable result, if we do that for 90 minutes hopefully we can pick up points.”