Dundee United manager Craig Levein believes the loss of Noel Hunt to injury was the reason why his side failed to breach the Hearts defence.
Craig Levein says David Goodwillie should not be criticised
"It is not a surprise to me that we missed our strikers," he said after the 1-0 home defeat.
"I am not looking at the game wondering how we never got something from it, I know the reason for that.
"I have to be careful of being critical of young David Goodwillie, though, because he is not ready."
The 17-year-old played a lone striker role instead of the more experienced Collin Samuel.
"In hindsight, it might have been better playing Samuel through the middle, because the young lad has been asked to do a lot and he is talented, but he is not ready to take that kind of weight on his shoulders," added Levein.