Hearts 3-2 Dundee Utd: Defensive woes continue for Paatelainen

Hearts and Dundee United players
Hearts ran out 3-2 winners against Dundee United

Dundee United head coach Mixu Paatelainen was left to lament more defensive woes following his side's latest defeat at Tynecastle.

The Tangerines lost 3-2 to Hearts and remain 10 points adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership.

"The goals we have conceded in my couple of months here, they've been so soft and so easy," said Paatelainen.

"You simply can't afford to concede goals like that, so really disappointed with that."

United took the lead early on in Edinburgh, with Billy Mckay converting a penalty after Juwon Oshaniwa had fouled Scott Fraser.

However, Hearts levelled through Gavin Reilly's strike and Dundee United goalkeeper Michal Szromnik allowed Prince Buaben's shot to swerve past him for the hosts' second.

Callum Morris was penalised for felling Billy King in the box and Osman Sow converted the spot-kick to extend Hearts' advantage and, although Fraser scored United's second straight from a free-kick wide on the right, the visitors' evening got worse just before half-time.

Mark Durnan was sent off for a professional foul on Reilly and fellow centre-half Morris was then stretchered off injured.

Dundee United defender Callum Morris
An injury to Callum Morris was a further blow to United's chances

"Throughout the match, my players' attitude and commitment when we had the ball was good," Paatelainen told BBC Scotland.

"Defensively, we were on our heels too much instead of making sure Hearts players didn't have enough room to operate.

"We were a little bit tame, a little bit too far from them and they cause problems if you do that.

"All in all, I can't fault the boys' effort. We scored two goals. The goals we conceded, again, it's incredible.

"But that's where we are and that's what we've got. We re-group now and get ready for the next one.

"We need to look at these situations and make sure you parry the balls away instead of them going in our net."

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson felt his side had "huffed and puffed" with no end product in the second half but was pleased with how the Tynecastle side reacted to going a goal down.

"I thought we responded really well and got ourselves into a really good position and then lost another bad goal from a set-play that goes directly in," he said.

"Second half, they had a man sent off and were down to 10 men and we were a bit gung ho and just didn't finish things off and it became a bit tense in the end.

"We huffed and we puffed and we had four or five clear-cut chances and didn't take them.

"Overall, I was pleased with them and it was a good result against a team that are fighting for their lives."

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