Gary Mackay: Hearts squad as strong as any in 25 years at Tynecastle – we need to see improvement

My view is that the current Hearts squad is as strong as any assembled at Tynecastle Park over the last 25 years. So the current situation baffles me and a lot of other supporters.

My view is that the current Hearts squad is as strong as any assembled at Tynecastle Park over the last 25 years. So the current situation baffles me and a lot of other supporters.

Five of Hearts’ next seven matches are at home and they are potentially season-defining games even at this stage of the campaign.

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We find ourselves joint-bottom of the Premiership and needing points, and there is no doubt that, with the squad we have, we should be too strong for teams like Hamilton, Motherwell, St Mirren and Kilmarnock. They are all coming up over the next few weeks.

The manager is not daft and I think he was being quite clever when he said we are close to being a very good side after Sunday’s loss at Celtic Park. He will be aiming to pick up a good number of points in these upcoming games and there is no doubt we need that confidence boost.

I’m just confused as to why we are in this position given the strength at our disposal. We started with four full internationalists on the pitch at Celtic Park on Sunday – Michael Smith, Christophe Berra, Glenn Whelan and Conor Washington – but ultimately it was a familiar story in Glasgow.

We didn’t start playing until we were 3-0 down and I don’t think we imposed ourselves during the game. The Celtic defence is vulnerable at the moment and a few teams have exploited that in recent weeks. However, we did not get at them.

Hearts were set up mainly to try and contain Celtic on their own turf and interrupt their short-passing game. That meant we weren’t really much of an attacking force and didn’t create much in the way of chances.

I feel for the supporters because the situation is very frustrating. We stopped Celtic playing short passes but then we conceded two goals instigated by diagonal balls switching the play from one side to the other.

Now, let’s not get carried away, going to Celtic Park is always a difficult task due to the quality of players you are coming up against. It has been the same for decades and that won’t change. I would just like to see Hearts being braver in that environment and trying to cause some damage by getting forward more.

We do have some decent attacking players at our disposal and after a difficult start to the league camoaign we need to see them flourishing.

I think we are all quite excited about what the Japanese forward Ryotaro Meshino might bring to the group once his loan deal is completed. He should certainly add more flair and creativity in forward areas, and that will help compensate for Jamie Walker being out injured for a few months.

I hope to see the new lad make his debut against Hamilton and contribute to a strong display which kick-starts our league campaign. We badly need it.