Still a tough challenge

Defender Eggert Jonsson can see that Hearts are now playing to consolidate third place in the SPL after recent results against Celtic and Rangers. Hearts sit third in the SPL, 12 points above fourth-placed Kilmarnock, but trailing leaders Celtic by 10 points and Rangers by five. Rangers have two games in hand on their Old Firm rivals. An 11-game unbeaten league run which led some observers to suggest Hearts could challenge for the title was brought to a halt by a 4-0 loss at Celtic before Rangers inflicted a further defeat in Hearts' most recent game. Jonsson said: "We were hoping to be able to get results against them and put ourselves right into the mix. Unfortunately we didn't manage to do that. But that's all in the past now. We're looking forward to the next games and we need to get ourselves going again and hopefully get on another run."

The cause was not helped by conceding early goals against each side of the Old Firm. Jonsson went on: "In those two games it never really looked like we were going to get something, especially the Celtic game, we had a bad day. But in the games that are coming up now we want to show everyone what we can do and these are important games to make sure we get back to winning ways and secure third place."

Any realistic chance of Hearts reigniting the flame of a title challenge depends on Celtic and Rangers slipping up. Asked if Hearts can catch the Old Firm, Jonsson said: "If they start losing points we can, if we go and win seven games in a row. But they're in a good position now. We need them to slip up to get back into it. But we're looking at the positives. We hope to get on another run and see where it takes us."

Jonsson,was pleased to be joined at Tynecastle by Andy Webster following the defender's release by Rangers. Jonsson was a member of the Hearts squad during Webster's first time at the club and is happy the Scotland international has returned. Jonsson said: "I think him coming back here shows what a big club it is and it's great he wants to be part of it. We're trying to improve and with him arriving it's probably going to improve us even more. He is a good character to have in the dressing room and to have him here is great for competition. It's all positive. He'll give us something else and he's got plenty to bring to the team." While Hearts are fighting for the top of the table, today sees them take on bottom club Accies at New Douglas Park. Jonsson said: "It's going to be a tough game. They're struggling down at the bottom, they're going to be fighting because they need points. Hopefully we can get back on track against them. What we need to do is make sure we get the job done."