Hearts: Daniel Stendel brings a 'positive energy' - Craig Halkett

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Stendel rues 'really frustrating game' for Hearts

Daniel Stendel is having a "positive" effect on Hearts, believes defender Craig Halkett, despite the new Tynecastle boss losing his first four games in charge.

Hearts are three points adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership, with the latest defeat a 2-0 reverse to Edinburgh rivals Hibernian.

But Halkett says the players are seeing signs of improvement.

"He brings a positive energy to the place," Halkett told BBC Scotland.

"He likes to be on the training park, running and shouting about. He's changed the style of play quite a bit. The boys are starting to get used to it and you saw on Thursday.

Obviously the result wasn't what we wanted, but you could see we were starting to play good football and the way he wanted to play."

Halkett made the move to Hearts from Livingston in summer and the 24-year-old says he has no regrets about the decision despite the man who signed him, Craig Levein, being dismissed less than six months after he put pen to paper.

"It's been a positive move for myself, moving to a bigger club," Halkett said. "Obviously I didn't expect to be where I am just now and obviously with the situation with the manger that signed me leaving.

"It's been difficult, but I've enjoyed it so far. The results haven't been great, but it's a big learning curve for myself being at a bigger club. It's something you just need to deal with and take it on the chin."

Win over Aberdeen would be 'huge'

The run of defeats is the worst start to a managerial reign at Tynecastle in post-war times. Hearts have won just four home games since the end of March under the stewardship of Levein and caretaker Austin MacPhee.

However, two of those victories have come against Sunday's opponents, Aberdeen.

"It's hard to take," said Halkett, who insists the players, not Stendel, are to blame for their predicament. "We've put ourselves into a situation and it's up to us to deal with it.

"We've been here though a couple of managers and it's still not got any better, so it's up to us to turn it around.

"When you're down near the bottom of the league, it's a confidence thing. It's hard to put your finger on a specific thing as to why it's going wrong. But I think the players are still confident we can go and turn it around.

"[A win on Sunday] would be absolutely huge. That's all we're concentrating on, getting a win and hopefully moving off the bottom of the table."

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