After talking to a number of candidates about the vacant Hearts manager’s job, Director of Football Craig Levein has decided to take up the position himself.
Former Jambo favourites Steven Pressley and Paul Hartley were linked with a return to Tynecastle, while current interim manager Jon Daly, Billy Davies, Steve McLaren and Dougie Freedman were all considered at one time.
But now after the Hearts board ‘convinced’ him to take up the role, Levein has unveiled himself as the new manager of the Edinburgh side – following what must have been a lengthy and complex interview with Ian Cathro’s successor – while retaining his place on the board and his position as Director of Football.
Speaking to the official club website, after appointing Levein as the new Hearts manager, Hearts owner Ann Budge said: “He will continue to hold a seat on the board and, as such, will retain the overall responsibilities associated with the wider role of director of football.
“In deciding how best to move forward, the board took into account the fact that we are facing a unique set of circumstances this year, with the first match on our home ground not coming until three months into the season [because of stadium redevelopment]. Given this situation, we believed it was essential to call on experience.
“Not only does Craig satisfy all of our requirements, in terms of experience and personal attributes, he also offers continuity and stability.
“Having presented our plan to all members of the coaching staff and to our captain, I can confirm that everyone is fully behind it. We are, therefore, delighted that Craig has agreed to take on this challenge and for the avoidance of doubt… yes… he will be taking his place in the dugout… and yes, for the first time in the last three years… he will indeed be picking the team!”
The former Scotland manager was manager of the Tynecastle club from 2000-04 and returned to the club in May 2014 after being appointed Director of Football, overseeing the appointment of Robbie Neilson and then Ian Cathro as head coaches at the club.
Cathro was sacked at the beginning of August, with under-20 coach Jon Daly taking control of first team affairs.
Budge also confirmed that Daly and Austin MacPhee will stay on as first team coaches along with Liam Fox and Paul Gallacher, while Andy Kirk will take on Daly’s old role of Under-20 coach.
Hearts currently sit in eight place on four points from four games.