Hearts manager Robbie Neilson insisted the defeat to Kilmarnock must serve as a wake-up call for Hearts, saying his players had dipped below the standards demanded of them.
The Tynecastle club missed the chance to go second in the Premiership, with Neilson bemoaning the failure of his strikers to deliver again.
He also gave credit to the Rugby Park side who squeezed the life out their guests, playing the kind of football that helped their fans, temporarily at least, forget about the latest machinations in the ongoing off-field battle to oust former chairman Michael Johnston from the board.
Neilson said: “It’s frustrating because we had the chance to go second and we spoke about that in the dressing room.
“It was a great opportunity but it’s done and the focus is on Saturday now. It’s about how we react to it. It is just really disappointing the way it panned out. In the first five to 10 minutes, we had an unbelievable opportunity to score, but, if you don’t take chances, then you don’t win games, that’s it, end of story.”
Delighted Kilmarnock boss Lee Clark hailed the performance the best of his tenure, adding: “We have just got to do our job and try to lift the fans with performances and results and give them a bit of happiness.
“Whatever happens away from the football side happens. I don’t get involved. We just move on and see what comes.”
There was joy unconfined as Souleymane Coulibaly added to his repertoire of sensational strikes to grab the opener.
“We scored two unbelievable goals tonight. Souley is putting together his own personal DVD of goal of the season entries. He just keeps producing these little bits of magic,” added Clark.