HEARTS have confirmed the return of former striker Edgaras Jankauskas as assistant manager.
• Former Hearts striker Edgaras Jankauskas returns to Tynecastle as assistant manager
• Jankauskas to work alongside John McGlynn, who has urged focus on recruiting young talent
The 37-year-old, a Scottish Cup winner with Hearts in 2006, will work alongside new manager John McGlynn and first-team coach Gary Locke. The Lithuanian, who won two European trophies under Jose Mourinho at Porto, spent last season in the same role at Lokomotiv Moscow.
In a statement on the club’s official website, McGlynn said: “I’d like to welcome Edgaras and extend him the warmest of wishes. I’ve worked with him in the past and I know what a talented individual he was on the field. I’m certain that, having spent a year coaching in Russia, he will prove to be just as exceptional off the field. This is a new start at Hearts and I’m confident we have the right people to take this club forward.”
Meanwhile, McGlynn has revealed his ambition to turn the club into the place to come for talented youngsters.
The former Raith Rovers manager, who was appointed last week, has told young players they will get a first-team chance amid moves to slash the wage bill at Tynecastle following problems paying players last season.
He told Hearts TV: “They (young players) are going to be given a chance and they need to takeit. But we have to make sure they understand that they will make mistakes and that is when they will need more encouragement. We want to make sure we continuously bring through young players at all levels.”
The 50-year-old believes Hearts have become better known for looking abroad for new talent since Vladimir Romanov purchased the club in 2004 and is aiming to change that policy while keeping performance levels to a suitable standard on the pitch.
He said: “Perhaps in recent years they’d say ‘what is the point in going to Hearts because they only sign foreign players and experienced players?’ But we need to buck the trend there and get the message out to come to Hearts because you will get an opportunity.
“We want the best players coming through and to put good things in place at academy level. There is a great job being done now, but there is no point coming in here and not trying to make the place better.”
He added: “We have to be realistic because there are young players coming in, but we will look to play attractive football, attack and go out to win every single football match. Realistically we won’t, but we want to encourage the players to express themselves and entertain.
“But we do not think that because it is young players we will allow the standards to drop. Mediocrity isn’t good enough.”