Hearts go into the new decade at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership with a meagre 13 points from 21 games.
The Gorgie side have won just two league fixtures this season and are five points behind Hamilton as the top flight closes for the winter break.
Recent relegation statistics do not offer the Tynecastle club too much encouragement for the rest of the season.
In seven of the previous nine seasons the club sitting bottom of the table at the end of December have been automatically relegated at the end of the season.
Ross County are one of those teams along with Dundee, (twice), Inverness, Dundee United, Dunfermline and Hamilton whose form did not improve in the second half of the season.
However, the Staggies have twice avoided the drop after going into the new year propping up the table.
In season 2014/15 Ross County were just one point behind St Mirren in December after 18 games but finished the season in ninth place with the Buddies going down.
The previous season, the Highlanders went into 2014 on 11 points, two points behind Hearts, again after 18 matches.
However, County ended up in seventh place with the Jambos finishing at the bottom of the pile and dropping into the Championship, hampered by a 15-point deduction for entering administration.
Daniel Stendel was brought in to Hearts earlier in December to change the Tynecastle club’s fortunes.
The German manager has yet to win a game in five attempts but Hearts fans will hope he eventually justifies his appointment by keeping the Gorgie side in the Premiership.
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