Paying respect to Hamilton, after the underdogs left Tynecastle with a share of the spoils, he said it was up to the Gorgie players to live up to their billing and fight to win games and win back the backing of the fans.
“Maybe on paper, man for man, they did not look as good as us, but when you are out there and run about, they can make it difficult for us and that can cover up a lot of sins. Maybe we need to take a leaf out of that book. It’s not always going to be nice and pretty – there is a dirty side to the game. But, people’s visions get blurred when there is negativity, it can be about riding out the storm. We need to take the responsibility and the stick.”
There was a spell in the first half of this match when the mood was optimistic, even jubilant. At that stage Hearts were a goal up and the better team. Looking comfortable in every department, there was no need for grumbling from the stands.
Even when Euan Henderson collapsed in a heap and had to be replaced, there was a crackle of anticipation as that freed up a place for newcomer Ryo Meshino to make his debut, only a day after touching down in the capital.
He headed on to the pitch to a standing ovation from a home crowd desperate to believe the hype and hoping his arrival could offer the team some traction and kickstart a season that has doled out more injuries, some tough away fixtures, disappointing lapses in form and a points haul that has left them at the wrong end of the table.
On this evidence, he is going to need time and some help. But patience is something in increasingly short supply in Gorgie and, like every other player and coach, he headed up the tunnel at the end of the match to the sound of booing.
Having been favourites to win the game at half-time, the positivity disappeared as quickly as their lead, as Hamilton turned up the heat early in the second half and fought out a well-earned draw.
Sean Clare had opened the scoring in the 20th minute, slotting an angled drive past Owain Fon Williams. But that was cancelled out only five minutes after the interval, when George Oakley who, along with Marios Ogkmpoe, caused real turmoil in the Hearts defence and stoked the anxiety in the stands, netted the first of his two goals.
It could have been avoided, as Berra, pictured, Aidy White and Colin Doyle, all failed to deal with a ball down the middle decisively enough. But Oakley was clinical.
Berra tried to make amends nine minutes later, heading his side back in front but it wasn’t enough to thwart Hamilton’s attacking ambitions, with Oakley equalising again in the 73rd minute.
It stayed that way, with Accies looking more likely to edge it, and while it earned the visitors praise, it earned Craig Levein the wrath of the fans and the Tynecastle backline the ire of their manager.
“That’s what happens when you have a bad result, defenders will get the stick,” said a visibly downbeat Berra. “I’ve played in games like this before and if you win 1-0 nothing is said. But we conceded two rubbish goals again. It was nervy, it’s not nice to play in. You just have to be thick skinned and get on with it.”
The same can be said for the under-pressure Levein, who was targeted by fans singing that they want him to go.
“It’s part and parcel of the job,” said his captain. “I’m sure Paul Heckingbottom will be getting it at Hibs. It’s what happens when you are not winning games. The manager is in the firing line… The only way we can stop that is to win games.”