Hearts manager Craig Levein knows his side’s results have to improve but insists he is still the man who can turn their fortunes around.

Hearts are bottom of the Scottish Premiership going into Sunday’s Edinburgh derby at Hibernian.

Fans protested after last weekend’s 3-2 home defeat by Motherwell.

“My interest is purely in making Hearts as good as they can possibly be, and I believe I can do that with this group of players,” said Levein.

“If I didn’t think that then I wouldn’t be here – it’s as simple as that.

“There isn’t any situation where I’ve looked and thought we’ve not got the players to get us out of this.”

Hearts owner Ann Budge issued a statement this week to say the club’s board remain behind Levein and refuted suggestions they were lining up a replacement.

“Being bottom of the table with two points after five matches is not a great situation to be in,” said Levein.

“I’m well aware of the circumstances and what we need to do.”

Levein understands why supporters were unhappy after a run of 12 league games without a victory stretching into last season.

“In this business, I think 99% of managers at some point in their career will have their job at risk – in fact, 100%,” he said. “That’s the constant that you live with when you do this job.

“Winning matches is everything, isn’t it? We’ve got a big match on Sunday which is always an exciting fixture for everybody – the players, the coaches, myself and the fans in particular.

“We go into this game with a view that we need to get three points, because we need to climb the table as quickly as possible.”

Hibs, in ninth and only two points better off, also go into the first derby of the season with some suggesting head coach Paul Heckingbottom is under pressure.

“Whoever starts the game in a positive manner I’m sure will have the supporters behind them,” Levein added, pointing out his side’s recent trend of conceding early or “crazy” goals.

“So the focus for us is not to assist the opponents, to do everything we can to stop them from scoring and I think that will then put us in a position where we’ve got a chance of winning.”


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