Stevenson: Onus on players

  • Last Updated: December 7 2012, 14:45 GMT

Ryan Stevenson believes the onus is on the Hearts players to improve on-field fortunes.

Ryan Stevenson: Hit a low point

The 28-year-old midfielder left Hearts for Ipswich last January, upset at persistent delays in wages, but returned to Edinburgh in August, despite the threat of more severe financial woes at Tynecastle.

That threat has transpired, but Stevenson is confident action is being taken to stabilise the club and has called for the players to do their bit.

"This time it's been dealt with a lot better by everyone," Stevenson said.

"All I asked for was honesty. That's all the fans ask for. That's what we as players ask for.

"We can't really use what's happening off the park as an excuse now.

"More than anything we need to start stepping up to the plate on the pitch and put the off-field stuff to one side.

"Off the park we're trying to get there and I think we will get there.

"Everyone at Tynecastle from Sergejus (director Sergejus Fedotovas) to David (Southern, the managing director), everyone that's down there is working their tails off to try to make sure the club stays safe.

"It's time we start doing that on the park as well. It's down to the players to produce it on the pitch. We're the only ones who can turn it round."

Hearts saw their William Hill Scottish Cup defence end at the first hurdle last Sunday, losing 1-0 at Hibernian, and enter tomorrow's match at home to Aberdeen in ninth place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

With nine points separating second-placed Hibs and Hearts, plus a Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final against Inverness next month, Stevenson is focused on the positives.

"It's been a difficult week for everyone, but you have to move on," he said.

"If you dwell on it and you let these things affect you you're going to go into the game on Saturday in a negative mindset.

"It was a massive low for us, but the games come around thick and fast just now and it's another very tough game for us at home to Aberdeen and it's one we need to go into positive.

"On the park it's been a difficult time since I came back. We've got a lot of young boys, who you've got to remember this is only their first year in the SPL.

"We haven't done as well as we probably should've done, but we're nine points behind Hibs, who are having this 'unbelievable' season, and we're in a cup semi-final.

"Yes, we're not where we want to be just now, but you win three or four games, everything turns around quickly.

"We could go into the Hibs derby on January 3 and things could be totally different."

January will mark 12 months since Stevenson's departure, but he insists this season's developments have not been too great a concern.

"I genuinely wasn't that bothered," Stevenson said.

"I came back to it with my eyes opened. I knew what I was coming back to, I knew this could happen again.

"If I wanted to go for the easier option I could have gone to other places, but for me, this is, outside Celtic, the biggest club in the SPL.

"It's where I want to play week-in, week-out. When things are going well it's amazing. Things aren't going well just now.

"This is a low point for us as a collective. We'll get out of it, I'm sure."

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(reopens) Hearts revealed over £750,000 has now been generated by the £1.79million share issue scheme launched in late October.

Fedotovas said on the club's official website: "It is a great effort to bring in £750,000 and the fans should be proud of the achievement. But as I have stated on a number of occasions, we are still well short of reaching the target which was set at the launch of the share issue.

"There will be consequences if we fail to hit that target and I would ask anyone who hasn't participated in the scheme yet, to do so.

"We have to look at reaching £1m now. That is the next target and I think it is one that is realistic and achievable."