Stendel urges Hearts fans to show more patience with struggling team

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel has urged fans to show more patience and support to his team.

Stendel admitted his players were lacking in confidence after suffering a 1-0 Tynecastle defeat by St Johnstone in his opening match in charge.

The loss left Hearts stuck on 12 points with bottom club Hamilton in the Ladbrokes Premiership with only three home league wins to their name in 2019.

Hearts struggled to create chances and the supporters aired their frustrations but Stendel has told them he needs them to help change the players’ mindset, starting when champions Celtic visit Gorgie on Wednesday.

“I am really honest,” the German said. “I know the situation is not easy but I hoped before the game started that the fans would give the players more chance to change things.

“They tried to start with more confidence and belief but early you had the feeling the fans were not satisfied with the game and the players.

“I am also not satisfied with the game but we can only change things when we work together and we need the support from the stands. We need the fans.

“In this situation we need a little more patience from the stands. This is the one and only thing the people in the stands can give the players at the moment.

“I can only say that every player works hard in training to try to change things and nobody wants to play badly, but the situation is not easy.

“In all our jobs we need confidence to work well, and there is not much here. I hope we get more support on Wednesday and the players can give more back to the fans.

“I hope we have a good relationship in the future and from both sides it wasn’t the best.”

Callum Hendry returned from suspension following his red card against Aberdeen to come off the bench and seal St Johnstone’s first away win in the league of 2019 as he headed home Matty Kennedy’s 74th-minute corner.

The forward has now scored three goals in 10 substitute appearances in the league this season, his strike rate working out at a goal every 64 minutes.

Manager Tommy Wright said: “It was a great delivery and a good header so I am really pleased for Callum, he has bounced back well from his moment of madness he had against Aberdeen.

“He is scoring pretty regularly. His best performances are when he comes off the bench. We have to make sure when he gets starts he maybe does that little bit better.

“But he is certainly very much an important member of the squad, someone that you can rely on to come off the bench and nick you a goal.”