Hearts: Captain Steven Naismith to lift Scottish Championship trophy in 'act of respect'

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Greenock Morton players give their Hearts counterparts a guard of honour
Hearts have been muted in their celebrations so far

Hearts captain Steven Naismith will lift the Scottish Championship trophy in a low-key "act of respect" after Saturday's visit of Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

There will be no "fanfare" to mark the title achievement.

Hearts say they understand the views of fans who want the prize shunned after last season's controversial relegation.

However, the club added that winning "the most difficult league in Scotland" deserves to be recognised.

In a statement, the Tynecastle outfit said: "At full-time, the first team will collect their winners' medals and our captain, Steven Naismith, will lift the trophy - respectfully and to honour the players' achievement - before returning to the dressing room.

"There will be no fanfare, there will be no passing around of the trophy and there will be no party on the pitch, given the absence of our fans.

"This will be an act of respect. Respect to our players for the 'hard yards' they put in over the season, respect to our opponents who would love to be in our position and respect to the fans who continue to back the club in an unprecedented fashion."

Hearts - who were bottom of the top flight when Covid-19 halted last season - secured the title and automatic promotion on 10 April and lead Raith Rovers by eight points.

Saturday's final home game of the season comes against visitors who need the points to push themselves into the promotion play-off places.

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