JOHN McGLYNN has told disgruntled Hearts fans their team is still on the verge of “an amazing season” against all the odds.
The Hearts manager has been operating with one hand tied behind his back since taking the reins last summer, having seen a number of his star players quit the Tynecastle club to help improve their financial position. He has had to work with an increasingly youthful squad and a lack of consistency has seen Hearts fall to tenth in the SPL table, with McGlynn coming under fire from some fans. However, Hearts are just eight points off third place with a League Cup final to look forward to next month, and the manager is adamant a successful season remains possible.
Despite losing the likes of David Templeton and Ryan McGowan since the start of the season and being denied Marius Zaliukas, Callum Paterson, Jamie Hamill and Danny Grainger for long periods through injury, expectation levels are still high among Hearts fans.
McGlynn said: “We are 90 minutes away from giving the fans the success they want in an incredibly difficult season.
“We could possibly win back-to-back cups – it’s 50 years since Hearts won the League Cup.
“If we can win the League Cup and finish in the top six then it would be an amazing season for us, especially when you consider the trials and tribulations of the club this season and the players that we have lost, either through injury or the ones who have been sold on.
“We are all looking for top six – it’s not just the supporters who have expectations.
“I think everyone has to be realistic when you look at the players we are missing.
“We are trying to bring through younger players, but we need a bit of time to let that develop.
“We have got to give them time because this will be a rollercoaster ride and there will be ups and downs.”
Meanwhile, Hearts have accepted a reduced payment from Rangers for Lee Wallace on the condition that they receive the money now, rather than as scheduled in June.
Charles Green’s side were not due to make the final instalment for the defender’s move to Ibrox until the summer, but Hearts agreed to waive £100,000 on the deal for immediate payment.
Hearts have made no secret of the fact that they need cash to make it through to the end of the season and on Monday owner Vladimir Romanov’s UKIO Bankas went bust, sparking yet more fears for the Tynecastle side’s future.
Back in November, Green asked Hearts to accept £500,000 as full payment for the £800,000 owed to Hearts for the combined sale of Wallace and David Templeton, but he was knocked back.
McGlynn will be hoping that the £400,000 payment will help see his side through the remainder of this campaign.