Hearts captain Michael Stewart is critical of both the Jambos transfer policy and the calibre of players in the squad, reports The Scotsman. Former Manchester United and Hibs midfielder Stewart, speaking at the launch of the commemorative 'Remembrance' jersey which Hearts will wear in next month's first Edinburgh derby of the season, says emulating last season's third place is a tall order given the summer reshuffle.
He said: "It's feasible of course (to finish third again] but it's difficult when you don't have a structure in place to bring in guys of the calibre you have lost. If you don't manage to keep certain players it makes the job more difficult. It's not as if there is any crisis, though. It's a case of digging in, trying to string some back-to-back wins together and, with a run, confidence comes along with belief in what you're trying to do. There's not a massive amount that is wrong at the moment, but we have just not picked up enough points.
"We have had five games away from home and three at home, so I think we have had a difficult start. It's been a bit stop-start at the moment but it's not big things that need to be rectified, it's small things that will make a big difference.
"There are a few other teams looking for that third place so it's going to be tough."
Stewart added: "I think it's very important to get a balance to your team. If you can get to the stage when the majority of the team are playing their part and you have not got too many passengers, it's helpful to have.
"When you have too many passengers in your squad who aren't playing their part week-in, week-out, that's where the lack of consistency thing comes from."