Andy Halliday insists talk of Hearts romping to the title was disrespectful to their Championship rivals.
And the experienced midfielder admits Friday’s 2-1 defeat at Dunfermline demonstrates that the pundits were wrong to think Robbie Neilson’s side would have it all their own way this season.
The Gorgie side’s eight-game winning run at the start of the campaign came to a shuddering halt in Fife as the Pars made a statement of intent.
But former Rangers playmaker Halliday is adamant it had nothing to do with Hearts being complacent because he paid no attention to all the hype surrounding the Tynecastle outfit.
Halliday said: “Some of the talk I thought was maybe a wee bit disrespectful to the other teams.
“I’ve heard a lot of talk about going unbeaten and stuff like that but even from the four league games we’ve played, you can see it’s a real big game and test for every team who plays Hearts.
“Of course Hearts are a big club and we feel we have the quality in our squad that we can mount a serious challenge.
“This result is by no means the end of the world but when you get that winning momentum and winning mentality from eight wins out of eight you want to build on that and keep it going as long as possible.
“We faced a good team and all credit to Dunfermline.”
Hearts are back in action at home to Alloa on Tuesday before playing the Wasps in the last-16 of the Betfred Cup at the Indodrill stadium four days later.
Halliday insists they cannot allow this defeat to completely throw them off track.
He added: “It’s about us getting back on the horse on Tuesday and trying to claw back the four point lead they’ve got.
“We’re pretty lucky we have a quick turnaround and have a game at home to Alloa on Tuesday so it’s really important to put it right.
“If you want to mount a serious title challenge, when you drop points it’s important to pick up three points in the game after so it’s a big game for us on Tuesday.
“You don’t want to take eight steps forward then two, three steps back.
“It’s important we build up momentum again.”