A look at how the Tynecastle Park side have fared in their last five matches in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Hearts 2 - 0 Dundee; Tue 12 Dec
The most impressive performance since the 0-0 draw with Aberdeen in early September - Craig Levein’s first match back in charge of the club. Not did Hearts score twice for the first time since a 2-1 victory over Ross County in mid-October, they created other good chances in which to make this win a comprehensive one. At the other end, the defence once again put in a sterling showing, limited Dundee throughout the match. Goncalves and captain Christophe Berra got themselves on the scoresheet this time around.
An incredible result which, while few saw coming beforehand, was thoroughly deserved. Hearts chased and harried the league leaders from the off, dominating them in a frenzied opening period and leading 2-0 at the break. Sixteen-year-old Harry Cochrane got things started before Kyle Lafferty doubled the advantage. David Milinkovic, who was tremendous throughout, extended the advantage just three minutes into the second half before putting the cherry on top with a late penalty after Ross Callachan had been fouled.
St Johnstone 0 - 0 Hearts: Sat 23 Dec
The Jam Tarts return to earth after being on cloud nine for the previous six days with this hard fought draw with St Johnstone. In a game that resembled the slogfest between the two sides at Murrayfield earlier in the campaign, the visitors were able to leave with a point despite seeing Harry Cochrane sent off in the closing stages. Kyle Lafferty had the best chance of the match but couldn’t replicate his scoring heroics from the previous week, pushing a close-range volley wide.
Despite the upturn in form, Hearts still couldn’t end their winless streak against Hibs, which stretched to nine games after this encounter. The away side felt aggrieved after an early Oli Shaw effort, which hit the underside of the crossbar and crossed the line, wasn’t awarded as a goal. Although, Hearts had a legitimate claim for a late penalty waved away. In a game of few chances, the one positive was the continuation of the unbeaten run (which reached eight games) and another clean sheet.
Aberdeen 0 - 0 Hearts: Sat 30 Dec
Hearts set a new club record with their sixth consecutive clean sheet, though they left Pittodrie ruing some missed chances to win the game. Both David Milinkovic and Esmael Goncalves were guilty of profligacy as Craig Levein’s men looked to sit in, let Aberdeen control possession, and then hit the hosts on the counter-attack. The match also ended on a sour note for the away side as Kyle Lafferty received a straight red card for lunging through Graeme Shinnie as Aberdeen looked to break. Unless Hearts are successful with their appeal, the player will miss the Edinburgh derby in January.
Next five games
21/01 Hibs (H)*
24/01 Hamilton (A)
27/01 Motherwell (h)
30/01 Celtic (a)
03/02 St Johnstone (h)