Andy Halliday insists Hearts are now brimming with confidence after banishing the memories of last season’s disastrous campaign.
Robbie Neilson’s side laid down in a Championship marker in last Friday’s opening league match with a 6-2 thrashing of Dundee, a team meant to be their title rivals.
That victory came following three straight Betfred Cup group wins over Inverness, Raith Rovers and Cowdenbeath.
And ahead of Friday’s televised trip to Arbroath, Halliday reckons getting over last season’s nightmare demotion in a campaign that saw Hearts win a total of ten games in all competition has been hard for the players.
Former Rangers midfielder Halliday, who scored against Dundee in his second appearance for the club, said: “Off the back of the Inverness game, boys had not played for 200-odd days.
“I could still sense that when it was 1-0 going into the last 10, 15 minutes there was a bit of nerves just because of the record last year.”
Speaking to Open Goal, he added: “But we’re four games into it now and you can see the confidence has grown and I think people are starting to believe, ‘we could be a right good team here’. Friday was a big game.”
Halliday, who made his debut as a substitute against Caley, was delighted to play his part in the empathetic victory over the Dark Blues.
The 29-year-old came on in the 74th minute and helped Hearts regain control of the match after Dundee’s Danny Mullen made it 4-2.
He added: “The manager asked if I was ready and I said, ‘aye’, I was just eager to get back involved.
“I don’t know if I would have got the minutes if Dundee had not scored the second goal to make it 4-2.
“In these games where there are no fans, there is a period for 15, 20 minutes where it goes flat.
“So, when they scored the second I think he wanted me to inject a bit of energy and get a foot on the ball and help the team control the game again.”