John Souttar has added his voice to the growing clamour from within the Hearts dressing room for Jon Daly to be appointed as the club’s head coach on a permanent basis.
Daly guided Hearts to another valuable result on Saturday, securing a point from a goalless draw against Rangers at Ibrox to follow up the previous week’s 1-0 win at Kilmarnock.
Former Nottingham Forest and Derby County manager Billy Davies is the latest name to be linked with the position at Tynecastle and it is understood he has been interviewed by owner Ann Budge.
But since replacing Ian Cathro on an interim basis three weeks ago, Daly has stabilised the Gorgie side and enhanced his own candidacy for the job on a longer term basis.
Defender Souttar, who excelled in the centre of Hearts’ back four alongside captain Christophe Berra at Ibrox, believes former under-20s coach Daly has already established a strong relationship with the first team squad.
“Jon has got a good case for the job,” said Souttar. “It’s always hard when there is an interim manager but the relationship he has with the players helps. Everyone believes in what he’s saying. When he speaks, everyone in the dressing room listens. You see all of the boys’ commitment. I know we’re always committed. But Jon’s got a great relationship with the players.”
Souttar insists the Hearts squad are unconcerned over the length of time the club are taking to confirm Cathro’s successor.
“We’re not too fussed about it,” added the 20-year-old. “We are settled. It’s not as if we are losing at the moment. We’ve won and drawn our last two games. So, from our point of view, there’s no rush.”
The resilience Hearts displayed in Glasgow was an encouraging sign for Souttar in a season which will now see the team wait until November before they can play at the new-look Tynecastle, with some of their home fixtures being played at Murrayfield during the interim period.
“We are going to need to be tough to beat,” said Souttar. “If you are going to have so many away games, you need to be resolute. We were hard to beat against Rangers. Jack Hamilton had a good couple of saves but we defended well on the whole.
“In the long run for the club and where it’s been, if you said three years ago you’ll need to play 14 away games before you get a new stand, everyone would have jumped at it.
“Look at it like that and it’s no worry for us. We’re the club’s players, they pay our wages so I’m sure 14 away games isn’t going to be too detrimental. Everyone is desperate to get into the new stadium. The atmosphere before was amazing so I think with the new stand and its height it’ll be a cauldron and a pleasure to play in.
“Murrayfield will be like a neutral venue, even though they will be our home games. I’ve never even been to Murrayfield before. I’m from Brechin – we don’t play rugby up there.”