Robbie Neilson says the fans are deserving of an apology after branding Hearts Scottish Cup loss to Brora Rangers as “not acceptable”.
The Jambos suffered a 2-1 defeat at Dudgeon Park on Tuesday night to exit the competition at the second round stage.
Despite dominating the game, the Championship leaders could not break down the Highland League side’s resolute defence, and Robbie has reminded his players of the standards that need to be met when pulling on the maroon jersey.
"I'm devastated, absolutely gutted,” he said. “Credit to Brora. They competed really well and worked really hard, some brilliant defending and threw bodies on the line. Ultimately, we were miles off where we need to be.
"We had a long conversation at the end because it's not good enough. The standards when you come here need to be miles better. You have a responsibility playing for Hearts.
"It's not acceptable. There will be players who step up and get the team going again and players who can't. It's up to us to have players here of a standard that we don't get that performance again. We need to make sure we win the league first and then we need to move the club forward.
"Definitely, 100 per cent (the fans deserve an apology). It's not acceptable at this football club. We have a lot of work, fight and hunger to show to get over this. We need to do it.
"We could go over it for the next six hours but it's not good enough - as coaches, staff and players. The only way to change it is to get back into training and get at it.
"We need to win on Saturday and win the league. We will remind them about this regularly to make sure standards are better and this does not happen again."