Christophe Berra: Hearts must handle criticism, says captain

Christophe Berra
Christophe Berra returned to Tynecastle this summer after spells at Wolves and Ipswich

Hearts captain Christophe Berra has urged his team-mates to handle the criticism they are taking from fans.

The Tynecastle side were knocked out of the League Cup at the first-round stage after being unable to beat Dunfermline.

Scotland defender Berra, 32, is in his second spell at Hearts, where he started his career.

"The fans obviously showed their frustration," he said. "They aren't happy but, as footballers, we need to deal with that."

Hearts had opened their group campaign with two wins but lost in midweek at Peterhead.

Despite taking the lead against the second-tier Pars on Saturday, Hearts fell 2-1 behind before drawing level late on.

Without a winner in 90 minutes, Ian Cathro's were consigned to third place in Group B even before the bonus-point penalty shoot-out, which Dunfermline won 3-1.

"I've been at Tynecastle in the past when it hasn't been a happy place, and obviously that was the case on Saturday," Berra said.

Dunfermline celebrate
Championship side Dunfermline were the team celebrating at Tynecastle on Saturday

"When you don't win your home games, regardless of where you play, fans will boo.

"Tynecastle can be a hard place to play but I've said to the boys they need to handle those atmospheres if they want to progress."

Cathro replaced Robbie Neilson in December when Hearts were third in the Scottish Premiership.

But they finished fifth in the table and missed out on a European place.

Berra was brought back to the club earlier this summer and appointed skipper.

Hearts open this season's Premiership away to defending champions Celtic on Saturday.

"There is still frustration from last season and it is up to the players to respond and prove them wrong.

"Hopefully this is the kick up the backside we need but we can't keep saying that.

"We need to do our talking on the pitch."

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