Hearts Preview

Last updated : 25 December 2003 By Firparkcorner

While we eventually lost out to Celtic, we can take some heart from the performance. The defence steadied itself after a very shaky start and for half an hour we caused them as many problems as any team has this year. Derek Adams was unlucky with his two free kicks and while there can be little excuse for not scoring a penalty, it was a great save from Douglas rather than a bad miss.

The performance of Alex Burns has been called into question at various times this year but he is showing signs of improving. There have been moments when he has been very unlucky and you get the feeling that one break could turn his season round for the better. Sadly our options up front are extremely limited with Stevie Craig still out with his knee injury.

There are injury problems in defence as well with David Partridge missing out again. We saw on Sunday that we have no other player who can perform as well in the air as he can and if Mark de Vries manages to shake off a knock we may struggle to contain him.

Hearts have been the best team in the league outside of the Old Firm and there is little doubt that we would be delighted to escape with a point. Despite our recent poor run we are still sixth in the table – although if things go badly this weekend, we could be down to ninth by Sunday tea time. The performance will continue to improve and we will break our scoring duck but it won’t be enough to prevent us going down 2-1.