Hearts interim manager Steven Naismith will take positives from defeat against Celtic ahead of their “two biggest games of the season”.
Hearts were the better side until Alex Cochrane was sent off near the end of a goalless first half and Celtic went on to win 2-0.
Naismith disagreed with the red card and felt his team deserved more from the game, which leaves them in fourth place in the cinch Premiership, five points behind Aberdeen and one ahead of Hibernian.
Hearts now travel to Paisley to face sixth-placed St Mirren on Saturday before hosting the Dons the following weekend.
Naismith said: “When we look back, there will probably be a lot of positives for us.
“The next two games are the biggest games of the season and they will define where we finish.
“This game was always going to be our most difficult challenge. We acquitted ourselves well.
“Before the game I said we would be aggressive, we would have our moments in attack. We did that.
“We were brave defensively against the best forwards in the league and they never created too many chances until the red card.
“They made their moments count in the second half but there’s lots we can take positives from.
“We have said consistently there’s a good group of players here who want to do better, who want to improve and who want to be successful. The last two performances, you can see that’s definitely the case.”