Hearts head coach Ian Cathro insists doubts will remain hanging over him until the Gorgie club put a consistent winning run together.
The Tynecastle outfit ended a barren sequence of three straight losses with a morale boosting 1-0 success over Dundee on Saturday.
Six defeats in seven matches prior to the visit of the Dark Blues had led to some fans asking whether 30-year-old Cathro was the right man to take Hearts forward.
And as fifth place Hearts prepare to visit Kilmarnock in Friday’s final pre-split match, Cathro admits he expects to remain under intense scrutiny until the team prove they are moving in the right direction.
He said: “I’m not even going to call it the first step but it just allows us to think about taking the next step, which would be victory in the next game against Kilmarnock.
“Immediately, we move on because the questions, the doubts and the concerns and all these things, which we want to very quickly get rid off and take away from everybody’s mind – that will only come when we win and we win and we win.
“We’ve done the first bit but without the next bit following it up quickly, it’s not going to count for anything.
“I know that and we move on.”
Cathro, meanwhile, hailed Prince Buaben’s performance after deploying the Ghanian at centre-half in the Dundee victory.
Buaben, who is regarded as a central midfielder, replaced Taso Avlonitis in the midweek defeat at St Johnstone and was given the nod over the Greek centre half at the weekend.
The 28-year-old, making his first Premiership start since last December, looked at ease as Hearts collected their first clean sheet in four games.
Cathro, who has been left short at the back due to injuries to John Souttar and Aaron Hughes, added: “He dealt with the game well, we controlled the game for long periods and Prince brings different qualities in that centre back position.
“He helps the team get started, he helps us take that early control in the game. That was a big plus for us.”