Hearts boss insists club will celebrate on trophy presentation day

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Hearts manager Robbie Neilson will hold talks with his players today about whether to lift the Championship trophy, but has made it clear that they will celebrate winning the title.

The Tynecastle outfit will be presented with the silverware after tomorrow’s match against Inverness at Tynecastle.

However, a section of supporters are behind a ‘Leave it on the stand’ campaign as a protest against the SPFL for the way the club’s controversial relegation from the curtailed top-flight came about last season.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson | Hearts news
Hearts host Inverness on Saturday

Asked whether club captain Steven Naismith would lift the second tier trophy, Neilson said: “We’ll make a decision on Friday. I’ll give my thoughts on it as well to the players and make a decision about what will happen.

“It’s important we all make the decision together and carry it out.

“There’s two sides to the story and two different aspects we need to look at.”

Defender Craig Halkett was also asked whether the players will shun the trophy.

He said: “We’re going to have a meeting and get everyone’s opinions across, and then decide from there.

It’s about being respectful to the league and the teams in the league who are all challenging for the title all season.

And in our changing room there are boys who maybe haven’t got a winners’ medal or have had the chance to lift a trophy.

So there are a lot of things to be spoken about. We’ll discuss it in the meeting and take it from there.”

The lack of fans inside Tynecastle will detract from the celebrations but Neilson insists the players and staff should not feel compelled to temper their enjoyment of the moment.

The title success comes at the end of a season which has seen both Neilson and the players come under fire from fans for results and the manner in which the team has played.

Neilson added: “We have the trophy presentation, what’s it for? It’s for a full stadium, we don’t have a full stadium so we’ll enjoy it ourselves and make sure we celebrate it ourselves.

“It’s a massive achievement to win any league, especially when it’s such a difficult season.

“Externally people will look at it and think Hearts should just turn up but it doesn’t work like that.  

“Big teams have come down and not come back up, Rangers took two years to get out, Hibs three years, Dundee United four years.

“Very few teams have achieved what we’ve achieved which is to come down, turn it around, and come straight back up again within a season. 

“I think in the last 20-odd years there are maybe only two or three teams that have managed to do it.”