Andrew Driver admits their Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final against Inverness may be Hearts' last chance to save their season.
Hearts are four points off the top six of the SPL in ninth place following their 4-1 defeat at Celtic Park on Saturday.
Driver felt they had let themselves down in their Parkhead performance and knows the season could be consigned to a damp squib if they fail to get past in-form Caley Thistle.
Their season has been beset with financial problems and the William Hill Scottish Cup final drubbing of Hibernian was partly avenged by the Leith side with a 1-0 fourth-round victory last month.
So Driver is determined to leave Easter Road in happier mood on Saturday.
While taking the League Cup trophy to pupils from Aberlady Primary School in East Lothian, Driver told Hearts TV: "With letting ourselves down in the league, we really need to get to the final to get a buzz about the place and hopefully help us kick on and with our league form.
"We want to get back to Hampden, with our experience last year we all want to get there again.
"We really need to save our season and have a lot to look forward to in the second half of the campaign."