New Hearts boss Daniel Stendel admits Saturday’s debut defeat to St Johnstone was a huge eye-opener.
An encouraging high-pressing start to the game by the hosts soon fizzled out and Callum Hendry’s second-half winner propelled St Johnstone off the Premiership basement and forced the Gorgie outfit into the relegation zone.
Stendel was visibly exasperated at times on the touchline by his team’s lack of composure and concedes repairing their shattered confidence will be a huge task.
“But they have lost that feeling and it’s very difficult to change that in one day.
“In the last third they need to be calm, it was too hectic in some situations.
“St Johnstone didn’t play well, but they had three or four big chances and that’s why they won the game.
“I learned a lot. We need to work a lot harder that is for sure.
“We need to change that feeling in the players’ mind. It’s not so easy, you can see that.
“You can see that with some players we will need more time, but others did surprise me.
“Steven MacLean you can see understands the game. And I thought Aaron Hickey did well too.
“He tried to make crosses, he is a young player but he played with the most heart.
“We need more confidence in everything we do. Every player was looking to play the ball long and safe.
“That’s not what we want and I know they can play better. When some players come back from injury we will have more quality in our squad.”
Boos rang out around Tynecastle at full-time but Stendel has implored the fans to get behind the team ahead of Wednesday’s visit of Celtic.
Stendel added: “We are all disappointed, but I hope on Wednesday we can show more.
“I know the situation isn’t easy but I hope the fans give the players more time. I sensed from early the fans were not satisfied.
“I was not satisfied either but we need the support of the fans, we need more patience.”