Robbie Neilson breaks Hearts sacking silence with emotional message to fans and club
The 42-year-old was sacked by the Tynecastle club on Sunday after a run of six losses in seven matches which saw them exit the Scottish Cup and relinquish third place in the Scottish Premiership to Aberdeen.
The axe fell just 24 hours after a 2-0 home defeat to St Mirren that saw home fans chant for the manager to be sacked on the back of a graffitied message appearing outside the stadium last week calling for Neilson to go.
Hearts have appointed B team boss Steven Naismith as interim manager for the remaining seven games of the season starting with a baptism of fire against Hibs in the Edinburgh derby at Easter Road on Saturday.
Neilson though insisted there are no hard feelings as he thanked fans and the club for their backing during what was his second spell as manager.
He said in a statement released via the League Managers Association: "I would like to thank Ann Budge and all of the board for giving me the opportunity to manage Heart of Midlothian over the past three seasons. We built a fantastic relationship and I will always have the utmost respect for them.
“My thanks also to the players and staff for their hard work and dedication. I have enjoyed working with you all and seeing you develop as both a team and as individuals. To my assistants, Lee McCulloch and Gordon Forrest, thank you for your unwavering support and dedication.
“Everything we achieved together, winning the Championship, two Scottish Cup finals, a third placed finish and securing European group stage football was with the superb support of the Hearts fans and the Foundation of Hearts. I thank you all for that. I am immensely proud of what we were able to achieve together. It has been an honour to be your manager.
“I would like to wish everybody at the club the very best of luck as they seek to finish the season strongly and build on the strong foundations already in place. I’m now looking forward to having a chance to reflect, recharge and prepare for the next opportunity."
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