The charitable view is that visiting sides set up to suppress our silky attacking skills while on the road we find more space and can use our pace to create goal scoring chances. It certainly was the case that Hearts came with defence a first priority. McGlynn said after the game, “It was a hard-earned point for us. We had to ensure we didn't open up and give early ammunition to Motherwell. There wasn't too much goalmouth action but defensively we were very good. I thought we stifled them very well."
The lack of decent football on the pitch was not the only disappointment. Last season Hearts visited us twice and both attendances were around 5,500. This time the crowd struggled to better 4,000. Yes, it was a lunchtime kick off and it was broadcast live on $ky, but there were more spaces than usual in the home stands and only a miserly 586 in the South Stand. That turnout from a club in crisis and fresh from a sell-out at Tynecastle the previous week was poor.
Did Motherwell miss a trick this week? Should we have taken the initiative and cut prices to £10 a head and expressed our sympathy for Hearts fans’ efforts to raise funds for their club? Surely that would have delivered a bigger crowd and a better atmosphere for very little cost. After all, the vast majority of the attendees had already paid for their seats when they bought their season tickets.
A busy week lies ahead with trips to Tannadice and Pittodrie in prospect. United are just one point behind us in the tightly bunched table but their home form is almost as bad as ours; the last time they collected three home points was mid-August. Our pursuit of the Scottish Cup starts in Aberdeen and, glory apart, the manager has already spoken of the need for a cup run to boost the playing budget.