Hearts players aim to repay fans

PA Sport
Dylan McGowan, left, believes his team-mates need to repay the Hearts faithful
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Dylan McGowan, left, believes his team-mates need to repay the Hearts faithful

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."

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 league matches 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."

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