sport

Grainger focused on football

Danny Grainger hopes he and his Hearts team-mates can foster a feel-good factor at Tynecastle as the club fights for its very existence.

Grainger scored the only goal in last week's 1-0 win over St Mirren in a match Hearts had suggested could be the last in their 138-year history.

That was before a deadline was extended over a winding-up order issued over a tax demand for 450,000, one of numerous financial concerns at Tynecastle, where a share issue scheme has been launched to raise much-needed funds and initially well-received.

The matter is out of the control of the Hearts players, who instead are seeking to focus on winning on the field, the latest test coming at Motherwell on Saturday.

Grainger said: "There's nothing we can do. We've just got to get on with it.

"We can't affect what's happening out with the football. We've just got to get on with our business.

"We know we've got to do our business on the pitch and we go out every week trying to do that.

"If we keep working the way we do on the training pitch and on the pitch on a Saturday we know we'll get a lot more positive results."

Grainger was one of a host of first-team players and staff who deferred their November wages, which were due on November 16, to ease the club's predicament.

"I thought it was the right thing to do for the club and for the fans," he said.

"The boys are grateful after the way the fans responded. We felt it was right for us to do the same."

Each individual has negotiated when their next pay can be expected, but should a further deferral be required, the decision will be made as a unified group.

"It can't just be made as an individual decision," Grainger added.

"We've got to speak among ourselves and we'll cross that bridge if we come to it.

"We've always had a high morale at the club. We've gone through testing times before; nothing as bad as this, obviously. The boys all stick together, we get on really well, we're a close-knit group.

"We all know each other really well, so it makes it really easy to get on with our work."

Motherwell won 5-1 last weekend at Inverness and represent a challenge to Hearts' togetherness.

Matches with Celtic, Hibernian in a repeat of the Scottish Cup final but this time in the fourth round, Aberdeen and St Johnstone follow.

"We've got a hard run of games coming up, five really testing games," Grainger added.

"We can't look too far ahead. We know how good a team Motherwell are. We know how hard the game's going to be.

"Everyone's had a sticky patch so far this season. It just takes two or three good results and you go from second bottom to second top.

"There's nothing between the teams this season.

"Motherwell will be looking to kick on now after the result last week, but we're the same."

Goalscoring has been an issue for Hearts, with Grainger vying for the title of top scorer after three goals this term; captain and defender Marius Zaliukas leads the way with four.

"I'm getting a bit of stick, saying I can only score deflected goals, but I'll take that," Grainger added.

"I'm happy to keep a clean sheet. If I can do that and chip in with a few goals I'm delighted.

"We've got plenty of goalscorers at the club, there's plenty of goals in the team.

"It's a bit of a frustration that we're not getting as many as we'd like.

"But if we win every game 1-0 I'm sure all the boys would be happy with that."