Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels believes Hearts will be boosted by "high negative energy" as a result of their off-field issues when both sides meet in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on Saturday.
Senior players are still awaiting payment of their wages, which were initially due on October 16, while the club are operating a media blackout ahead of manager Paulo Sergio's Scottish Football Association disciplinary hearing on November 3. But rather than face a team in disarray, Shiels expects an even tougher challenge than usual.
He said: "They will have high negative energy, it will be good for them. What will come out of that is a siege mentality - 'even though we're not getting paid we have to show our supporters that we're not just here for the money'."
Shiels added: "I've seen it happen so much. It actually helps more than anything in terms of work ethic and the things that happen on the pitch."
Meanwhile, Shiels has yet to make a decision on whether to offer a contract to Northern Irishman Liam Boyce.
The 20-year-old striker is midway through a two-week trial and looking to kick-start his career following his release from Werder Bremen, who he joined last year after impressing at Cliftonville.
Shiels said: "He hasn't actually played a game yet so we are looking at a game next Wednesday. We will look at things from there.
"In terms of fitness, he needs to step up to give me a clearer picture. So I can't actually see yet what the true quality of the player is."