Craig Levein says he unlikely to move back upstairs if he fails as Hearts boss

Craig Levein says he is unlikely to simply step back into the role of Director of Football at Hearts if he fails to deliver as first team manager and dismisses as myth the idea that he is untouchable.

Hearts manager Craig Levein speaks to the press. Pic: SNS/Ross MacDonald
Hearts manager Craig Levein speaks to the press. Pic: SNS/Ross MacDonald

“I knew I was taking a risk by taking the job because, believe me, my position is not any safer than anyone else’s. Every manager is vulnerable and I know that if I don’t do the job properly then they will give the job to someone else.

“So far from being untouchable, I actually don’t think it does do me any favours because ultimately, if I don’t do a very good job as a manager then I don’t think I am going to be here.

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“Previously as the Director of Football was responsible for the overall strategy. But now I am responsible for the here and now as well so if it goes wrong there is no hiding place, it is all my fault! But I take that very seriously because I am really proud of what has happened over the last four and a bit years. If you had seen the academy then compared to the academy now, it is night and day. There are so many good young players coming through.”

Brought in to offer the football department some stability following the sacking of Ian Cathro and the struggles on and off the pitch as the club dealt with stadium upheaval and an overhaul of personnel, Levein was reluctant at first.

“But I thought if I bring someone else in and that doesn’t work then I’m still going to get the blame for it. So I would be as well doing it myself. I like that when things go wrong then at least I have the opportunity to put them right and I feel it is going in the right direction.”

Having spent several years working on the academy, the objective is now “to fix the first team part of things”.

The priority is continuity. “We have the core of a really good side signed up for a period of time. Instead of bringing in 15 new players every season I think we probably need three years from the signings we are trying to do just now, then I will feel we are in a good place.

“But if I don’t get it right then I probably won’t be here.”