Robbie Neilson insists he enjoys the backing of the Hearts board and doesn’t need a public display of support to feel secure.
Hearts haven’t won in four games, having drawn with Arbroath and Dunfermline and been beaten by Queen of the South as well as losing to Brora Rangers in the Scottish Cup.
That’s added to fan unrest, with many complaining about performances and results, and laying the blame at Neilson’s feet.
The manager shrugged off “negativity” and said he had the backing of the board – particularly chairwoman Ann Budge and sporting director Joe Savage – because the team is on course to earn promotion as Championship winners.
“I’m delighted with the board at the moment,” Neilson said.
“I speak regularly to Ann and to Joe so I don’t need anything.
“I know what the objective for the season is, and we’re on course to do that. I know what the external noise is and it’s up to people to talk about it.
“I understand it, people want a story and something to talk about but ultimately at a big football club like this there’s always going to be negativity when you drop a couple of points.
“You just need to deal with it.”
With a healthy lead at the top of the table and only four matches left to play, the Tynecastle side are in touching distance of the title and Neilson was adamant that was the only thing that matters right now.
He said: “I keep harking back that we’re sitting 11 points clear in the Championship and the objective is to get back to the Premiership. We have to keep reminding ourselves of that.
“There’ll be negativity at Hearts as soon as you drop points, whether it’s a draw or a defeat.
“You have to accept it but also look at the bigger picture and make sure that we continue to move forward to where we want to be, which is back in the top flight.”