Hearts won’t rush the appointment of Craig Levein’s replacement

Coach Austin MacPhee has been placed in interim charge of Hearts. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Coach Austin MacPhee has been placed in interim charge of Hearts. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
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Hearts will not rush into appointing a new manager to replace Craig Levein, who was sacked on Thursday.

Rumours have been rife that a replacement has already been lined up and could be in place by next week. But The Scotsman has learned that board members are still compiling a shortlist of candidates and will consider applications next week.

It is understood that those in the running will not be interviewed until the week after the league match at home to St Mirren next Saturday.

It will be the club’s third managerial appointment in three years, after Levein was convinced to combine the position with his director of football role in August 2017.

Hearts are joint bottom of the Premiership after a disappointing start to the season and face Rangers at Hampden in the Betfred Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Austin MacPhee has been placed in interim charge and has enlisted the help of experienced SFA coach and former Hearts winger Donald Park as he tries to steer the confidence-hit side into the final.

“Donald is very experienced and different to what is currently in the building in terms of the experience he has and I have moved him from the academy side to be with me for however long the interim period is,” MacPhee said. “He will be there to give me advice and support and criticism on Sunday.”

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson is the bookies’ favourite to replace Levein but it is believed that the club hierarchy are unwilling to rush such an important decision as they look for a first-team coach who can spark a revival and repair the relationship between club and fans.