Hearts boss Gary Locke admits he still fears the Gorgie club might not escape their administration hell.
Jambos supporters group the Foundation of Hearts is waiting on final permission from the club's Lithuanian owners to sign off on a £2.5million rescue package that will see millionaire businesswoman Ann Budge take control.
But Locke admits he is growing increasingly concerned at the silence coming from Kaunas.
Loading article content
Locke said: "It could collapse - but I pray that does not happen.
"I'm trying to look at the positive side of things. We're hoping Ann will come in and take the club forward, which would be fantastic.
"But at the back of my mind there is still a lingering doubt about events in Lithuania, so the next month is crucial for Heart of Midlothian Football Club. Hopefully it will have the positive ending that we all want.
"Until it is signed off, we won't know. The best word to sum up this situation is 'frustrating'. Everyone here would love to get an answer and then move on."
Budge, who reportedly made £40million from the sale of her IT firm in 2005, will only complete the deal to take the Hearts out of administration once creditors to the club's majority shareholder UBIG finally give it the thumbs up.
But while administrators BDO fight to push that deal through, Locke faces the prospect that if his team fail to beat Dundee United on Friday night, they could be relegated on their own ground by city rivals Hibernian a week later.
"I'm not bothered about the Hibs game now," said Locke, whose side sit 21 points adrift of safety. "We've got United on Friday and that's all I'm focusing on.
"I've not really thought about what will go through my head if we're relegated if I'm being honest.
"We know it's looking impossible (to survive) now but we have got a young group of players and the future for Hearts will be bright.
"It's important we don't forget the biggest battle is off the field because things have gone pretty quiet on that front. The next month for the whole club - not just on the pitch - is going to be huge.
"Without a doubt it is the most crucial period in the club's history. I've said from day one this season that the most important thing is the club's survival. The next month will go a long way to deciding that."
Transfer restrictions placed on Hearts for calling in administrators saw Locke fail with a third bid to sign former Jambo Rudi Skacel this week but the boss has not given up hope of the Czech playmaker returning for a third spell with the club.
He said: "Rudi has been fantastic. He's been in training with us and has been a great help to the younger lads.
"I've not hidden the fact he is a player I would like to bring in, even if it was for next year. He's frustrated because we thought there was a possibility of bringing him in. But that's not the case.
"He will train with us for the rest of the season and hopefully when things can get moving, we can see him in a Hearts jersey again."