DANNY WILSON held the air of a condemned man who had just been told he had won the lottery - pleasantly surprised, but not quite sure how to take the good news.
The Scotland internationalist has spent so long mired in troubles not of his own making he could be forgiven for forgetting quite how to react to uplifting developments.
"It's nice to get some good news. That's not something we've been used to," said the 22-year-old - referencing the emergence of millionaire Ann Budge as Hearts' apparent saviour-in-waiting and his side's stoic, disciplined 0-0 draw away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle; a far cry from their League Cup exit to the nine-man Highlanders some two weeks ago.
"We don't get told too much about what is happening behind the scenes and can only go on what gets reported, but things look to be a lot more positive. It gives everyone a lift when you get news like this."
It would not be Hearts, though, without the encouragement coming with at least some small barb.
Gary Locke, the manager, is reportedly in danger of losing his position should entrepreneur Budge take charge, with the club's former manager Craig Levein said to be waiting in the wings as replacement.
"I've not met Ann Budge yet," club captain Wilson stressed. "I'd imagine she will keep her distance until it's all finalised but, hopefully, it is the first step towards getting the club back on its feet.
"We don't even acknowledge [the speculation]. It's not coming from us - we are right behind the gaffer now, just as we have been all season. He is doing a great job. It doesn't get any tougher than he has had it. He is a young manager and deserves time."
It was baffling just how the ball failed to find the back of Hearts' net on Saturday, particularly in a first half spent heavily under siege.
By the end of the second period they too had passed up chances to win the match but Inverness battered Hearts with 17 attempts on target, although Jamie Hamill failed to convert two decent chances to snatch an unlikely win for the visitors.
"It was a great performance in every respect bar scoring the goals," said Greg Tansey, the midfielder re-signed from Stevenage last month. "We created enough chances to win three games. We've hit the post and crossbar four times, had 17 shots on goal and 14 corners. The stats tell the story of the game.
"But we could have lost it too."