Pressley omission sparks fan protest as Hearts pipped by Rangers

ANGRY Hearts fans have been told majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov will answer their questions the next time he is in the country.

The Jambos supremo remained at his Lithuanian base instead of making the trip to Edinburgh for their SPL defeat to Rangers yesterday.

A crowd of around 200 gathered outside Tynecastle afterwards to protest against the running of the club, chanting, “Sack the board” and “Romanov must go”. They are furious that Steven Pressley was left on the bench for a game which could ultimately decide second spot in the SPL and spent much of the match singing his name.

The skipper missed their last game amid reports of a plot to oust him as captain and a question mark remains over his future.

“The fans were unhappy even before this game,” said Jambos sport director Alex Kozlovski. “You always respect the opinion of the fans because the fans are the basis of any club. I think when Mr Romanov comes to Britain, he will answer any questions.”

He stressed that interim head coach Eduard Malofeev — not Romanov — selected the team for the visit of Rangers, including the decision not to recall Pressley.

While fans vocally backed Pressley, the names of the Lithuanian players, except the impressive Andrius Velicka, drew jeers from the home crowd when read out ahead of the game.

While Hearts plunge deeper into turmoil, Rangers manager Paul Le Guen is hoping the crisis is finally over at his own club as Nacho Novo grabbed the only goal with 78 minutes gone.

HEARTS: Gordon, Barasa, Berra, Tall, Zaliukas, Aguiar, Brellier, Wallace (Goncalves 48), Hartley, Velicka, Mole (Mikoliunas 60).

RANGERS: McGregor, Hutton, Svensson, Hemdani, Smith, Novo, Ferguson, Adam, Clement, Kris Boyd, Prso.

Referee: D McDonald (Scotland).

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