Craig Levein insists the onus is on the Hearts players to rouse their support in this Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final – not the other way round.
The Tynecastle side’s fans are likely to significantly outnumber their Inverness Caledonian Thistle counterparts for the last-four showdown in Glasgow.
Levein is hoping Hearts can use that to their advantage as they bid to reach the final for the first time since 2012, but the manager admits it is imperative that his team start strongly and give their supporters something to shout about.
“I don’t ask the supporters for an awful lot,” he said. “They’re coming along to support us so it’s up to us to do the business. If we do that, that keeps everybody happy.”
Despite the fact Hearts are a division above Inverness, Levein knows it is unlikely to be straightforward for his team against opponents who have boosted their promotion prospects in recent months by emerging as one of the form teams in the Championship under Tynecastle legend John Robertson.
“Semi-finals are never routine,” said Levein. “The opportunity’s always there for both teams to win. Robbo will have his team keyed up and ready to go, and we’ll be the same. It’s an opportunity for us to get to the final of the biggest cup competition in Scotland.
“Inverness are in good form. They started slowly but they’ve certainly picked up recently and had some good results. They’ve got to the semi-final, which is a big thing for them as well. Robbo’s done a good job and I’m not surprised about that.
“I went to see them against Ross County a few weeks ago but the game was marred a little bit by the fact they had a man sent off in the first half so I didn’t see them at their best. But their results have been good, and they won at Ayr in their last game, which isn’t easy to do. I know Robbo well enough to know what sort of team he’ll put out so we’re looking forward to it.”