Robbie Neilson has told of his disappointment at seeing the club’s badge vandalised with graffiti calling for his sacking at Tynecastle.
The Hearts manager told supporters there are other ways to vent their frustrations after a poor run of form that leaves them just a point ahead of Aberdeen in the race for third place.
A message reading “F*** off Neilson” was scrawled on the badge on Foundation Plaza outside the Gorgie ground’s main stand.
Neilson insists he can understand fan frustrations and said at a big club you have to take periods of negativity “on the chin” and look to rectify it in the next game.
Hearts remain in the third place but the gap to Aberdeen has closed to a single point following four defeats in their last five games.
Speaking to the media ahead of their game against St Mirren this weekend, Neilson said: “It’s disappointing that you get graffiti there and it’s outside the football club, but ultimately it’s football nowadays, you’ve got to take that on the chin.
“If you are at a big football club and you lose a couple of games on the bounce then people will voice their opinion.
“You’ve just got to accept it, got to move on and hope it doesn’t happen again. The only way we can rectify it is by winning on Saturday.
“I think any manager that has had the longevity I’ve had, I’ve had over 300 games now, then you are going to have ups and downs.
“You need resilience to get through it, whether that’s as a player, a coach or a manager, pushing forward you’ve always got to look towards the next game.
“We’ve been through a period where we had difficult games, we had Celtic back-to-back, we were up at Aberdeen, we’ve been to Kilmarnock which is always a difficult place to go, and we haven’t been able to get the consistency in performance that we’ve had previously.
“But we’ve now got a home game, got the derby that takes care of itself and another home game before the split and it’s up to us to try and take maximum points and if we can do that then we will be in a good position.
“There is other ways to vent your frustrations nowadays. It’s disappointing, but it’s a very small minority who have done it.
“We were at a federation do on Sunday and we had 400 fans there and they were all brilliant with the players and the coaching staff.
“It’s like any football club when there is a period of negativity, we have had three or four weeks of it now, there’s always going to be these issues in the background and it’s about moving forward together.
“The Foundation of Hearts is the people who put their hands in their pocket, 8 or 9,000 and it’s still growing, that’s the togetherness that got the club where it is and our job is to try and push it forward as a group.”
Neilson also revealed that it will be a last minute call over goalkeeper Zander Clark who is “touch and go” to be fit for St Mirren.