Jamie Walker worried for Hearts ahead of Celtic visit

By David Walton

December 18, 2019

Hearts winger Jamie Walker has admitted that he’s worried about his club ahead of Celtic’s visit to Tynecastle tonight.

Celtic make the journey to Edinburgh knowing that three points will move us five clear of Rangers at the top. The Ibrox side will also travel along the M8 on Friday night to face Hibernian at Easter Road. The motivation for us is clearly there as we look to pile the pressure on Steven Gerrard’s team.

That doesn’t read well for struggling Hearts, who managed to drop down to joint-bottom along with Hamilton Accies last Saturday.

Celtic are flying as they head to Tynecastle tonight (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

There may be a new manager at the helm, but that hasn’t stopped Walker from being concerned at the current state of his club. Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News, here’s how he described the current situation at Tynecastle:

“I think everyone’s just looking at each other waiting for something to happen – we all need to take more control as individuals and look to make things happen.

“It’s a worry that we’ve become a bit detached with Hamilton at the bottom. We started the season poorly and I think people thought because it’s Hearts, we’d start picking up results but it’s not happened. There’s a lot for him (Daniel Stendel) to work on.

“He’s only been in since last Tuesday so hopefully we can work on a few more things either side of the Celtic game this week. Pressing is the most important part of how he wants us to play so I’m sure he’s going to give us more ideas about how we can do that.”

Grim words from the Hearts camp

Usually, when players who are in a relegation dogfight get in front of the media, they do their best to spin things as positively as possible. But do you really detect Walker giving it his all to do that here?

Hearts have slumped from one bad to result to another this season (Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

You could be forgiven for thinking that there is a real strong lack of belief in Walker’s tone here. He doesn’t sound as though he’s confident that things are going to work out. The general feeling you get from him is that he’s hopeful more than anything else.

One glance at Hearts’ recent form and you can see why. They now haven’t won any of their last five games, and that’s probably the most positive stat you can find. They’ve lost four of them, and have scored only once during that run too.

Tynecastle hasn’t exactly brought them much comfort this season either. 10 games they’ve played there this season and only three have ended in wins. One was against Stenhousemuir whilst another was a Betfred Cup win on penalties against Aberdeen.

Daniel Stendel won’t change much at Hearts overnight (Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

That five-game run is only part of their horrendous form too. The bigger picture shows that they’ve won only one of their last 12 games. Hearts have been a shambles this season, and you can see that even Walker can’t be bothered pretending otherwise.

This is effectively a broken Hearts we’re facing tonight. Then again, who’s to say that won’t make them all the more determined to get something? There is no expectation on them tonight, and that can sometimes come with a freedom. Hopefully, romanticism doesn’t come into it, and we produce a ruthless display against this sorry Hearts side.