Graeme Murty insists the Rangers squad remain unified and behind him in spite of another week of Ibrox turmoil.
The Light Blues appeared to be tearing themselves apart in the wake of last weekend’s humiliating 4-0 William Hill Scottish Cup defeat to Celtic.
Skipper Lee Wallace and veteran striker Kenny Miller have both been suspended over their roles in an alleged post-match row at Hampden, while Greg Docherty and Alfredo Morelos were also involved in an angry exchange.
On top of dealing with that, Murty has had to this week console midfielders Andy Halliday and Daniel Candeias after both men reacted with frustration as they were hauled off during the chaotic derby defeat.
But Murty insists he still has the backing of his men.
The former under-20s coach - who refused to discuss the situation involving Miller and Wallace - held “clear the air” talks with the remaining members of his squad on Tuesday morning and insists they are now fully focused on Sunday’s vital showdown with Hearts.
Asked if he still had the faith of his players, he said: “Yes - because I’ve trained with them all week. I’ve seen them work. They are thinking about Sunday.
“They are thinking about the biggest game of the season, which is the next one.
“I don’t want people coming off the pitch happy at being beat. I want people who want to win.
“As long as we’re all pulling in the same direction, those are the kind of personalities we want.
“The players are pulling really hard together. They’ve had a week where it could have been really easy to allow things to distract them - they haven’t.
“They’ve focused inwards which has been really good for me as we need to prep for a really big game on Sunday.
“We’re second in the league, going into a really big game live on Sky in front of a national audience. We have to perform and get our fans on-side.
“The work we’ve done this week would lead me to believe they’re ready.”
Murty confirmed he had spoken to Docherty about his spat with Colombian hitman Morelos and was assured there was “nothing in it”, while the interim boss has had words with Daniel Candeias too.
Candeias walked straight down the tunnel after being sacrificed following Ross McCrorie’s red card.
“I’ve spoken to Daniel too,” Murty said. “In an ideal world [he’d have stayed on the bench], possibly. But we’re all humans, emotionally-driven animals, so when that emotion gets hold it’s difficult to suppress.”