Hearts players looking to repay the fans
The Hearts players have decided to defer their wages and are determined to repay the fans' faith in Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with St Mirren.
Captain Marius Zaliukas and Scotland internationals Andy Webster and Darren Barr have been key figures in the squad as beleaguered Hearts battle for their future.
And midfielder Dylan McGowan insisted the decision made by many members of the squad, manager John McGlynn and some of the coaching staff to defer their wages, which had been due on Friday, was made easier by the fans digging deep to help the club in their current predicament.
The 21-year-old Australian said: "If we can defer our wages for a little bit to keep this club alive we will do.
"When you see the fans rallying around like they have done it was the least we could've done. None of the boys had any issues with doing it.
"We want to show the fans that we're worth keeping around and that this club's worth having. We'll try our best, that's all we can do."
Last week, when a #450,000 tax bill was revealed and a winding up order was issued, Hearts suggested the St Mirren fixture could be the 138-year-old club's last.
But Hearts and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs agreed this week to a deal to extend the deadline for payment, which is just one of many financial issues at Tynecastle.
"It's not the ideal preparation for footballers to go out and play a game," McGowan added.
"The gaffer's kept us really focused on going out and getting three points and playing well.
"It's a difficult period for all players, but when we see the fans supporting us as they have done, it's a lot easier. You realise how big this club actually is."
Hearts are without a win in three in the SPL, with scoring a problem.
McGlynn said: "We've not put the ball in the back of the net enough for the amount of the ball we've had, the amount of possession, the amount of good play. That's the only thing that's been missing.
"The league's very, very tight and you can climb that league table with two or three victories.
"Every game's hard, it doesn't matter who you play. That's the same for our opponents. St Mirren have lost five in a row, they're desperate for points as much as we're desperate for points."
Midfielders Ryan Stevenson and Mehdi Taouil are doubts due to illness for Hearts' and right-back Jamie Hamill (knee) is still unavailable.
St Mirren manager Danny Lennon insists his side can recover from their dip in form and make this season one to remember for the right reasons.
The Paisley side have lost their last five matches in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and have slipped to second bottom in the table as a result.
"It's been a very fruitful week and we are relishing the challenge, there's no doubt there will be a fantastic atmosphere," said Lennon.
"This season our poor form has coincided with injuries and suspensions to important players, but I believe we have the squad and the personnel to come through our dip in form.
"We are only four points behind where we were at this time last season and with hard work and commitment we can move ourselves up the league - ensuring a season to remember for the right reasons."
Despite a disappointing slump in form, Lennon believes every team in the SPL will suffer a similar downturn in results.
"Last season after beating Rangers on Christmas Eve we went 11 games in the league without a win," added the former Cowdenbeath boss.
"Every team will suffer a blip at one stage of the season, Motherwell have lost five of their last six matches and that's with the same players that helped them to the Champions League last season.
"We know what needs to be fixed and how to fix it, all we ask is that the fans get behind the team and we can get through this blip together."
St Mirren will welcome back captain Jim Goodwin from suspension but long-term absentees Paul McGowan, Darren McGregor and Grant Adam remain sidelined.