Hearts 1-3 Rangers: Craig Levein rues Jamie Walker injury in defeat
Hearts manager Craig Levein felt the loss of Jamie Walker to injury was the turning point in his side's 3-1 defeat by Rangers.
Walker went off with a hamstring injury at 1-1, after Kyle Lafferty and Rangers' Kenny Miller had exchanged goals in the first half.
Miller then scored his second and Josh Windass also netted to seal the Ibrox side's win.
"We've got another good player who'll be sitting out," said Levein.
"I can almost tell you exactly when it went wrong, when we lost another midfield player. When Jamie went down with a hamstring injury, I spent a bit of time making the decision about who was to go on because I was just about ready to take Harry [Cochrane] off as well and then Jamie goes down and it makes a really difficult situation even worse.
"I can almost solely put it down to that situation because up until that point I was really happy with the way we were playing.
"We've got four central midfielder players, of course not all of them would start, but four central midfield players [already out] who would be capable of starting.
"I'm disappointed to lose the match of course. We were in it for a long period. They fought valiantly but it wasn't to be today.
"The injury has made a difference to our performance. We've lost another player, one of our better players. It's difficult to try and put a safe and stable team on the field at the moment."
Levein indicated earlier this week players would need to leave Hearts before they were able to recruit in the January transfer window.
"I don't think we're that far away," added the 53-year-old at Murrayfield. "We need maybe two or three players. If we can get everybody back who's out injured then I think it's much easier to assess where we are.
"For an hour, we were in the match, we were competing, we were as good as Rangers at times and a lot of the time we were better."