Hearts striker Edgaras Jankauskas has denied claims that the club's Lithuanian players were involved in a plot to end Steven Pressley's career as Tynecastle captain.
The 33-year-old was omitted from the squad for the 2-2 draw with St Mirren at Love Street in the Bank of Scotland Premier League on Saturday despite being fit to play.
In October, Pressley revealed 'significant unrest' in the dressing room under the regime of majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov, a Russian-born Lithuanian.
The Scotland defender was then left out of squad for the trip to Falkirk at his own request after reportedly uncovering an alleged plot by Romanov to persuade the Lithuanian players in the dressing room to declare a vote of no-confidence in their captain.
The former Dundee United and Rangers defender returned for the match against Inverness Caledonian Thistle last week but after missing the trip to Paisley, for reasons that the Edinburgh club has yet to explain, his eight-year career at Hearts could be over.
But Jankauskas claims the Lithuanian contingent in the Jambos' camp were not involved in any conspiracy against their skipper.
He said: 'I can assure you that none of the Lithuanians were involved in any plot or similar word. They are quite young players and I don't think they would even understand what is goes on.
'We are all doing the same job, whether we are black or white, whether we are born in Senegal, France or Lithuania.
'There's not any plot and none of the Lithuanians are against the Scottish. We have a good relationship with Steven. Of course difference of opinion can happen when you are together every day on the training pitch but I can consider him as my friend.'