|Kevin Kyle is enjoying the recent phenomenal run which he puts down to the collective spirit Jim Jefferies has fostered at Tynecastle. Hearts beat Hibs 1-0 on New Year's day with Kyle heading an 86th-minute winner to keep them in touch with Rangers and Celtic at the top of the league. Jefferies took charge of Hearts for a second time in January 2010 and almost a year on has been rewarded with a run of 10 wins in 12 games and 25 points out of a possible 27 since the 3-0 loss at home to Kilmarnock. Kyle, who followed Jefferies to Hearts from Kilmarnock in the summer and has now scored 10 times this season, said: "I think last year was pretty 'doom and gloom' and it's just nice now that when we win we're all together - everybody's getting on with each other. When I first came here we'd get to training at nine o'clock in the morning and there would be 12 foreigners in one circle and 12 British people in the other circle - I thought 'there's a bit of a divide here'. Slowly now we've mixed. We're getting there. It's a good atmosphere and the huddle at the end of the game shows we're all in this together. It's a good feeling."
Kyle's winner came moments after Gary Glen had missed a simple tap-in chance from fellow substitute Arvydas Novikovas' cross. Novikovas was again the provider as Kyle's header beat Hibs goalkeeper Mark Brown at the far post to delight the majority of fans at Tynecastle. Kyle praised Jefferies for subbing David Templeton, who has enjoyed a fine run of late but looked short of his best against Hibs, with Novikovas 11 minutes from time. Kyle said: "We've just got that wee bit about us just now - we keep going right to the death. The substitution was badly needed because we were running out of ideas. It came, we took the three points and onwards and upwards."
The question over whether Hearts can maintain their run is a persistent one and Kyle hopes they can. He said: "We're just happy winning and getting our win bonus. It's just nice to keep this run going. It's nice for us to win the derby, keep the fans happy. We're not saying we're going to challenge anybody, but if we keep going you never know what's going to happen."
Hearts take a break from league action next weekend with the Scottish Cup fourth-round game against St Johnstone to look forward to. But Jefferies is keen for the momentum to be maintained. The happy manager said: "We want to win every game now. It's at home. St Johnstone are a Premier League club, we know what we're going into. We have to make sure we're up for every game. If we're up for every game, we're a difficult side to play against and a difficult side to beat."