HEARTS manager John McGlynn believes the rest of Scottish football will be taking great delight in seeing the club struggle.
Years of overspending under owner Vladimir Romanov is coming home to roost as McGlynn – appointed as Paulo Sergio’s successor in the summer – presides over one of the toughest periods in their history.
The former Tynecastle academy coach is having to rely heavily on youngsters, with Hearts having been forced to sell or free a huge portion of the squad that romped to a Scottish Cup triumph over Hibs last May.
The Gorgie outfit – whose own existence remains under threat months after staving off a Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs winding-up order, will contest the League Cup final against St Mirren next month.
But the league form is giving McGlynn a headache and testing the supporters’ patience, with Saturday’s 3-2 home loss to Inverness leaving Hearts with one win in eight.
And McGlynn believes Hearts – whose last reported debt was £24 million – will struggle to find anyone sympathetic towards their plight.
He said: “There is absolutely no point feeling sorry for ourselves because no-one else will feel sorry for us, it will be quite the opposite.
“Everyone will be taking great delight in kicking us when we’re down. It’s very much important that we all stick together,” he told Hearts TV. “I understand the fans come and want the team to win. If they realise what we’re up against, fine. The financial situation has obviously has an effect on the park because we’ve had to sell players and we’ve had a bad injury situation.
“The young lads are having to stand up and play a man’s game, probably for longer than you would normally do when you would put them into an experienced team and take them back out again.
“That’s part of the learning curve. Technically, the squad is good but they’re having to learn a lot. We’re having to learn that we’re playing in a very competitive league. The encouraging fact is that we played some very good football and passed the ball very well on Saturday.”
McGlynn, however, believes his tenth-placed side will not be dragged into a relegation battle with basement outfit Dundee, who are 16 points worse off.
He added: “I think we’re well enough clear at the minute, (but) we have to win games.
“The lads put so much effort into the Inverness game that they deserved to take something from it. It’s not like they played badly, not at all.”
McGlynn’s personnel woes were compounded at the weekend when Darren Barr picked up his sixth booking of the season, meaning the defender will serve a one-match suspension against city rivals Hibs on 10 March.