Hearts must make relegation battle more than two-team scrap - Daniel Stendel

Hearts boss wants to gain required points to drag other teams into mire

Daniel Stendel hopes to turn Hearts' two-way relegation fight with Hamilton into a wider battle for survival.

The Jambos clambered off the Ladbrokes Premiership's bottom spot on Tuesday night with victory in the Edinburgh derby at Easter Road - only to be hurled back into the basement 24 hours later when Accies shocked Rangers at Ibrox.

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Stendel expects the battle at the bottom to go down to the wire - but the German does not want to spend the last 10 games of the season worrying only about how Brian Rice's side are getting on.

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel. Picture: SNS

And he believes if his side can continue their winning run, it could drag other rivals such as St Mirren and Ross County into relegation scrap.

"Sometimes we will win games and other times the other team will win games," said Stendel. "I think it will be decided on the last game.

"I hope we can get some more points and we can bring some other teams also into the fight to stay in the league.

"Do I have an idea of how many points or wins will be required to stay up? Not really.

"When some teams win against Celtic and Rangers when it's not expected, we think 'oh s*** no' but we can only look after ourselves and we need to show we can play the game.

"We need to keep up our performances in games to win. That will help our situation as we can't influence the other teams.

"We have five games left before the split and we have to collect as many points as we can.

"The situation at present is comfortable for not one team in the league. It hasn't really changed for us after Tuesday's win. It was good that we won it but we have a long way to go and we need more results again."

Hearts outfought Hibernian in Leith as they swaggered to a 3-1 win to back up Saturday's William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final triumph over Rangers.

And now that he has secured back-to-back wins for the first time since replacing Craig Levein in December, Stendel hopes to make it a hat-trick when third-placed Motherwell visit Tynecastle on Saturday.

Stendel said: "This was the first time this season we've won two big games in a row. That's a good sign and shows we can do it.

"Our style of play went very well in both games too and that's the main point that I take. I think we showed our mentality plus our discipline on Tuesday and that was important for me.

"The situation is good for me and the players, to have more experiences when we stay together and have the right discipline and concentration on the pitch.

"Motherwell played really well on Wednesday but we also did on Tuesday and I think we have a chance to win the game. There's a reason they are third in the table but especially at home, I feel we can win every game."

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