TYNECASTLE has a reputation for being ferociously intimidating but at the moment it is the Hearts manager and players who are on the wrong end of their supporters’ wrath.

Winless in the league since March, they looked second-best for much of the contest against newly-promoted Ross County and were fortunate in the end to come away with a point.

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For that they had cause to give thanks to Brian Graham after the former Hibernian player slid his 83rd-minute penalty against the post, the best of several opportunities created but missed by the visitors.

Hearts were nowhere near as potent. Craig Levein started with a team that looked attack-minded on paper but in reality served up another directionless display.

Just a week after having their £1m pitch ruined by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, this was another bum note from Hearts. The home fans in the crowd of 15,652 did not stint in offering their verdict come the end.

“I tell the players all when they come here it’s a brilliant place to play – but if things aren't going well, you’ll know about it,” admitted Levein in response to the crowd’s reaction.

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“It gets to everybody, of course it does. From my point of view the answer is everyone sticking together and working hard.

“It always feels more difficult to do things well when you lack confidence. You can't magic it up though - you just have to fight and be organised, which are things we can work on.

“We didn't get going at all and County did very well. The longer we went without dominating the match, we just got more and more safe. It resulted in us continually playing the ball long.

“I understand it. if you’re feeling like you're not at your most confident, then you don't want to make a mistake and the ball goes forward quicker. But that didn't help us today and it won’t help us next week either.”

This was always going to be a day to remember for Aidy White regardless of the result. After a 31-month spell on the sidelines with a hip injury, the Irishman belatedly made his Hearts debut five months after signing for the club.

A relatively comfortable performance took a turn for the worse when White chased Marcus Fraser into the Hearts box and then ushered him to the ground. He must have been the most relieved man inside the stadium when Graham failed to take advantage, with Levein just behind him.

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“It would have been a real shame for him for his mistake to have been the difference in the match,” added his manager who revealed he had taken Steven Naismith off at half-time with an aggravated hamstring. “But he’ll be pleased he's back after such a long time, so all credit to him.”

County will be frustrated at not winning but their positive attitude will serve them well throughout their first season back in the top flight.

They created a glut of chances most notably in the first half through Josh Mullin, Ross Stewart, and Michael Gardyne, before the latter struck the post with a mishit cross after the break and Stewart scooped a chance over the top.

“It does feel like two dropped but that’s probably an example of the strides we’ve made over the last year,” said County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell.

“To come to a place like this and be frustrated tells you a story. We asked the players to turn the crowd slightly. I think that happened. That shows we’ve been the dominant team for pretty much the entire game.”