Hearts captain expecting “tough run in” for SPFL title race

Christophe Berra

Christophe Berra believes Hearts could get themselves back in the title race. (Photo credit: Hayden Barry)

Hearts captain, Christophe Berra, knows his side will have tough task ahead if they’re to get themselves back battling for the Premiership title this season.

Just nine points separate first and sixth place in the league table, and the centre half is confident they can be in the race until the very end.

The Tynecastle side take on St. Johnstone this weekend and a win would see them move above the side from Perth into fifth place.

Berra spoke to the media about the tough challenge that awaits the club for the second half of the season. He said: “It is so tight between the top six just now, every team seems to be taking points off each other. You’ve got St Johnstone who have been consistent throughout, Aberdeen who started slowly but have picked up again. Celtic and Rangers are right at the top of their game as you would expect, so it is going to be a tough run in.

Christophe Berra

The Hearts defender was injured during the club’s impressive start to the season. (Photo credit: Hayden Barry)

“If we can pick up all the points against St Johnstone tomorrow, then it’ll be a perfect start to getting ourselves right in the mix again.

“We’ve all got to play each other, and points will be lost every weekend so it’ll come to who can keep their players fit, what team has that special bit of talent that can win you these big games, and who can get a bit of luck when it matters most.”

Berra has spent much of the first half of the season on the sidelines with a torn hamstring sustained in a 1-0 win over Celtic in August.

However, the 33-year-old is back in the squad and hopes players competing for places in the team can lead to better performances. He added: “Obviously, competition for places in the team is good, it is down to the gaffer to make his decision on what players he goes with, but everyone here is fighting for the jersey.

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Hearts captain said he’s aware of tough competition in the top six. (Photo credit: Hayden Barry)

“It’s great to see so much competition all over the park because if you don’t then some players can get a bit slack, so this will keep everyone on there toes. That is what you need if you want to build a strong squad and the manager is trying to do that.”

The Hearts captain spoke about how manager Craig Levein’s straightforward approach when addressing the players has helped the team improve on their mistakes.

“I’ve worked under a lot of managers but for me the one thing you really appreciate as a player is when the manager is honest with you, so you know where you stand. He had a few harsh words for the players and for the team overall.

“We know that we did not hit the standards that we have in the past, but the games are coming thick and fast, so we have an opportunity to put that right.”

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