Craig Levein confident Hearts are good enough to avoid relegation
Watch Hibernian vs Hearts on Sunday - coverage begins at 2:30pm on Sky Sports Football
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 21/09/19 12:02pm
Hearts manager Craig Levein remains convinced his side can climb off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership table following their disastrous start to the season.
Levein's side go into Sunday's Edinburgh derby with Hibernian having picked up just two points from their opening five matches.
Levein says he understands fans' frustration at their current predicament, although he has backed his players to turn things around at Easter Road on Sunday - live on Sky Sports.
"This group of players is more than capable of helping us climb the league and getting us to where we need to get to," said Levein.
"If I didn't think that, then I wouldn't be here. It's as simple as that. There isn't any situation where I thought, 'we haven't got the players to get us out of this'."
When asked if it hurts to see supporters protesting, he added: "Of course, but I can also understand it. Some people will go home angry and not really show it. Others will go away from the stadium wanting to show their displeasure. I get that.
"People stand outside the stadium to show their displeasure in this manner. I can't criticise them for that because we lost a match at home 3-2.
"I'm not going to sit here and have a pop at the supporters because that is pure folly and they are entitled to their opinions.
"The supporters desperately want the club to do well and if they are not doing well, they will let their displeasure be known."
Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge released a statement earlier in the week publicly offering her backing to her manager, although Levein was keen to stress that was entirely her decision.
"This wasn't my call, Ann decided she wanted to make a statement. It wasn't my call to say 'Ann, you needed to make a statement', or 'Ann, you don't need to make a statement'.
"That's not something she would be coerced or pushed into."
As for the game itself, which has taken something of a backseat due to Hearts' current travails, Levein believes their supporters would sacrifice a polished performance for points on Sunday.
"I think if you ask the fans at this moment in time, they would be more interested in getting a positive result," he said.
"That's always the starting point for any improvement in form, to get the confidence of the victory behind you."
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