Toby Sibbick has shot down suggestions Daniel Stendel has lost the Hearts dressing room and dubbed the claims “strange”.

The on-loan Barnsley midfielder launched a strong defence of the German after a report yesterday stated there was unrest among the Jambos players over the manager’s communication, tactics and man-management.

Sibbick is recovering from a bout of glandular fever which ruled him out of the last four matches. But he hopes to be back for the Scottish Cup clash against Rangers in 10 days’ time.

And he says the Hearts squad fully believe in Stendel - who previously took him to Barnsley from Wimbledon - as they look to drag themselves off bottom spot.

Jambos skipper Steven Naismith has also rejected talk of a dressing room split.

And Sibbick said: “That is not the case at all. Since I have been here everyone on the training pitch is buying into what Daniel wants to do.

“You can see on the pitch we are all trying to implement his style of play and it’s not like anyone is neglecting it.

“To hear talk of unrest in the dressing room is just strange.

“It’s a good group of lads. Everyone gets along well and it’s not as if people are disagreeing in the changing room.

“We all know the situation but everyone is sticking together to get out of it.

“The gaffer talks to the players often and I think that’s key because some managers out there might push players away in this situation.

“In my time at Barnsley and here he has always taken time to speak to me directly about what he wants and helps me improve as a player.

“His man-management is good and that’s massive for any player.

“He believes in us and we believe in him.

“I don’t see why we can’t get out of this situation because we are a good group of players and we just need to believe that more on the pitch.”

Naismith slammed the claims of discontent as “a lot of rubbish” as he called on his team mates to take responsibility and dig themselves out of bother.

The veteran striker said: “I was surprised to see it, if I'm honest.

"In terms of the manager's work we had a good period at the winter break which was clear for everybody to understand.

"The manager's English is pretty good, the bottom line is it's been individual errors and one player that's maybe been out of position or made the wrong decision that's cost us in these games.

"I think the second half at the weekend shows that we are still fighting, we still want to get back in this and get something from the game. We did that.

"We have had a lot of problems recently but we're fighting as one group to push forward and get out of this mess.

"If anybody in the group, whether it be coach, player or staff goes their own way they'll be excluded from the group it's as simple as that.

"It's not as though one person's going to turn the fortunes for us.

"We're going to go into a period where you're going to play against teams that are all round about you, which although it's only three points it is a bit more in these games.

"We've got to take responsibility for that, go into these games confident and play the way we can play, and come away with the points."