Hearts manager: Three at top of Tynecastle list

John Robertson. Picture: Jane Barlow
John Robertson. Picture: Jane Barlow
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HEARTS have compiled a shortlist for their vacant manager’s job which contains several names, including John Robertson, Peter Houston and Derek McInnes. The Tynecastle hierarchy are looking to appoint a permanent replacement for John McGlynn, who severed ties with the club last week.

Talks are due to take place with all relevant candidates over the next 48 hours. The new man could potentially be in place before Sunday’s Edinburgh derby at Easter Road, although no definite timescale has been set for an appointment. Gary Locke and Darren Murray remain as interim managers for now and will prepare the squad to face Hibs following last night’s 2-0 win over St Johnstone.

Peter Houston. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Peter Houston. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Hearts officials are seeking to appoint a permanent manager with experience who is capable of developing their young players further. They are expected to speak to Robertson, Houston and McInnes, plus possibly two other unnamed candidates, before making a

final decision.

Robertson, Houston and McInnes are all keen to return to football after a period out of the game. Robertson was Hearts manager from November 2004 until May 2005 before leaving the club he served with such distinction as a player. His last job in football was at East Fife, with whom he parted company 12 months ago. He recently declared an interest in returning to Tynecastle, saying: “Would I go and help the club? Yes, of course I would.”

Houston left Dundee United by mutual consent in January but wants to secure another job as quickly as possible. Asked about the Hearts vacancy last week, he said: “You’d have to listen to what they had to say. I want to be a manager again and I want to work as soon as I can.”

Derek McInnes. Picture: SNS

Derek McInnes. Picture: SNS

McInnes was sacked by Bristol City in January but, like Robertson and Houston, is eager to secure a return to football management at a high level. He enjoyed notable success in Scotland with St Johnstone and guided them to promotion to the SPL in 2009 before being lured to Bristol in October 2011.

Meanwhile, Hearts are considering taking legal action after a website report claimed staff had been told the club could be about to go into administration. The story stated that a group of club employees had been briefed on the possibility of administration.

However, Hearts moved quickly to rubbish the claims and even suggested that it had been written in an attempt to ‘destabilise’ Hearts.

The statement read: “Heart of Midlothian FC vehemently refutes media claims that its staff were told at a meeting today that the club could go into administration.

“The report lacks any sort of foundation and is misleading in the extreme. The club can categorically state there was no such meeting and no such message imparted to staff. Such erroneous stories cause distress not only to our staff but their families and the club will be taking the strongest action possible against the responsible parties.”

An official club spokesperson was then quoted, saying: “We are sickened and disgusted by such unsubstantiated content.

“Articles such as this which have no factual basis . . . reflect very badly on the profession of journalism. It is a straightforward shameless act to destabilise the club and we will consider applying for legal advice to seek justice and damages.”