After their shock cup exit at the hands of Highland League outfit Brora Rangers, Hearts have urged their supporters to stay at home following rumours of a Tynecastle protest.

This cup upset sparked calls from fans on social media for boss Robbie Neilson to be sacked.

Ahead of their clash at the weekend against Queen of the South the idea of protesting outside of the stadium was floated by some fans, to show their anger towards the board and the management team.

In a club statement, Ann Budge responded to supporter concerns, saying: "We urge all fans, in the strongest possible manner, not to congregate at Tynecastle Park on Saturday.

“We completely respect the right of any and all of our supporters to make their voices heard and feelings known in a peaceful and law-abiding manner. 

“However we are aware, from social media, that there is the suggestion of a fans protest at Tynecastle Park on Saturday prior to our Championship fixture with Queen of The South.

“We do not need to remind anyone that we are still in the midst of worldwide pandemic during which our focus has at all times been on ensuring the safety and security of everyone at Tynecastle. 

“Nor do we need to remind you that it is unlawful for crowds to gather in public places due to current Covid restrictions."

Commenting on their cup exit, Budge continued: “We can only echo the comments made by Robbie Neilson after the game. He was stunned and embarrassed, as were we all, by our exit at this stage of the Scottish Cup. It was, as the manager said, completely unacceptable and fell way below the standards that we set and expect at Hearts.

“Everyone associated with the Club feels let down. However the most important thing now is to bounce back. 

"At the start of this season every single one of us agreed that, above all else, this year was about winning the Championship and getting back to where we belong. 

"We are on the cusp of achieving that objective. Let’s not risk success now by allowing frustration and anger to knock us off course. We still have a job to finish.”