{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"hearts","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/jon-daly-rules-himself-out-of-running-for-hearts-job-1-4308692","id":"1.4308692","articleHeadline": "Jon Daly rules himself out of running for Hearts job","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480919405000 ,"articleLead": "

Jon Daly today ruled himself out of the running to succeed Robbie Neilson as Hearts head coach. However, he insisted Neilson’s replacement will land a “fantastic job” at Tynecastle.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308691.1480874064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jon Daly is happy with Hearts' Under-20s. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Hearts should make a formal approach to Newcastle United today for Ian Cathro, who is their primary target after Neilson joined MK Dons. Under-20 coach Daly took interim charge on Saturday alongside youth coach Andy Kirk as the Edinburgh club drew 2-2 at Ross County.

Daly spoke to the Evening News to explain that he enjoyed the experience but has no desire for a promotion to the head coach’s role. “No, not at all. I’m quite happy in the role I’m in,” he stated.

“I’ve been working with the under-20s since January and I’m quite happy doing that. I enjoyed Saturday, it was a good experience. Until anything happens at the top end, then if we need to fill in we’ll fill in. Once it happens, I’ll go back to taking the under-20s.

“This is a fantastic job managing Hearts. There are top-quality players here and people on the outside probably don’t realise the strength in depth there. On Saturday, we had to take off Igor Rossi and we’re putting on Alim Ozturk, who is a top-class player. Conor Sammon, another quality player, came on.

“Whoever does come in will be really happy with the squad they’ve got.”

Cathro is keen to take his first steps in management under Craig Levein, the Hearts director of football who appointed him head of youth at Dundee United. The 30-year-old 
Dundonian has been assistant coach at Rio Ave in Portugal and Valencia in Spain.

The Evening News has learned that Newcastle will not stand in his way and, barring any hitch over personal terms, he is expected to be in place by the time Hearts visit Ibrox on Saturday.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308691.1480874064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308691.1480874064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jon Daly is happy with Hearts' Under-20s. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jon Daly is happy with Hearts' Under-20s. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308691.1480874064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/robbie-neilson-sir-alex-told-me-to-leave-but-i-won-t-raid-hearts-1-4308802","id":"1.4308802","articleHeadline": "Robbie Neilson: Sir Alex told me to leave – but I won’t raid Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480919408000 ,"articleLead": "

Robbie Neilson today revealed that he left Hearts to pursue his dream of one day managing in England’s Premier League. However, he reassured the Tynecastle support that he won’t return to pluck their best players because MK Dons can’t afford them.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308801.1480887912!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson has designs on managing in the English Premier League. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Speaking exclusively to the Evening News, Neilson explained how he sought advice from Sir Alex Ferguson and was told he must make the move to Buckinghamshire. He will undertake his first press conference as MK Dons 
manager today.

The 36-year-old enjoyed two and a half successful years as Hearts head coach, winning the Championship title and guiding the club into Europe. He admitted the decision to leave was extremely difficult but he believes MK Dons can help him reach his ultimate target – a job in the English Premier League.

“I had a phenomenal time at Hearts. I loved every minute. As a coach, I want to progress to the highest level possible. The highest level is the 
English Premier League. You need to have a strategy to get there,” said Neilson, pictured.

“How do you get to the very top? You need experience and I got that at a brilliant club like Hearts. You’re not going to go to the English Premier League from Hearts. It just doesn’t happen.

“It’s mostly foreign guys and real top-end coaches in the Premier League. Even the guys who have been in the Premier for the last ten years are dropping down into the Championship. They’re getting all the top Championship jobs with 
security, facilities and the chance to get promoted to the Premier League.

“The jobs left don’t have much stability, or great budgets or great owners. I realise if I want to get to the top then I have to find a way of 
getting there. The key is to move to a really stable club where the owner will give you time, resources and facilities to build.

“I’ve come down to England to develop as a manager and have success. Hopefully the next step is to do really well at MK, then move again, and move again. I want that progression all the time. I’d also say that MK has the potential to go all the way, so maybe this is the place that could take me to where I want to go.”

Neilson is aware that his move south raised eyebrows. He did extensive research into MK Dons, chairman Pete Winkelman and the club’s potential before making his decision. When Sir Alex Ferguson told him he absolutely had to take the opportunity, the choice was made.

“I asked a lot of questions before I decided to take this job. Everyone I spoke to came back with a glowing reference of the club and the chairman,” explained Neilson.

“I got Alex Smith to speak to Alex Ferguson about it for me, just to find out his thoughts. His opinion was that I had to take it, 100 per cent. When people of that calibre tell you it’s the right thing to do, it made the final decision for me.

“I know people look at me going from the top end of 
Scotland to a team 19th in League One. I felt it was the right club to come to at the right time. MK are eight points off the play-offs. They’ve had a bad run and key players are about to come back from injury. We have the opportunity to bring players in during January.”

Those players won’t be from Tynecastle, even though he would love to take certain ones to England. “I can’t afford them, to be perfectly honest,” he laughed. “Hearts have some good players and if I could take them, I would. They’re too expensive. Arnaud Djoum is phenomenal, Bjorn Johnsen, John Souttar, Jamie Walker, Callum Paterson. These guys are going to cost £1million and £2m. We’re not in that market.”

Hearts hope to appoint the Newcastle United assistant coach Ian Cathro to replace Neilson, who stressed that whoever succeeds him will land a top job.

“There was still some way to go with Hearts. The next stage for them is trying to secure second place, Europe again, and a cup run. It’s a brilliant job for the guy who comes in,” he said.

“However, it’s not often jobs as stable as this come up in England. I just felt it was right. It was a very difficult decision to leave Hearts. It’s a phenomenal place with a phenomenal owner and having Craig Levein [director of football] there was great support for me.

“This is a massive risk for me. Sometimes you have to take a risk and back yourself.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308801.1480887912!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308801.1480887912!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robbie Neilson has designs on managing in the English Premier League. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson has designs on managing in the English Premier League. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308801.1480887912!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-to-appoint-ian-cathro-as-new-head-coach-1-4308789","id":"1.4308789","articleHeadline": "Hearts to appoint Ian Cathro as new head coach","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480885935857 ,"articleLead": "Hearts are on the verge of appointing Ian Cathro head coach with Austin MacPhee as his assistant.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308788.1480886073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro is about to become Hearts' new head coach"} ,"articleBody": "

Tynecastle officials have held talks with both men and an official announcement is likely in the next 48 hours.

Cathro has all but agreed to replace Robbie Neilson and MacPhee is keen to be his No.2 in Edinburgh. MacPhee is also wanted by the Scottish Football Association to fill their performance director vacancy.

Hearts want their new management team in place before Saturday's league meeting with Rangers at Ibrox. Both men know each other from their days coaching in and around the Dundee area and are regarded as two of Britain's most promising young coaches.

Cathro, 30, is currently assistant coach at Newcastle United but the English Championship club will not stand in the way of his first venture into management.

MacPhee, 37, is assistant to Northern Ireland coach Michael O'Neill. He could combine that job with an assistant coach's role at Riccarton having previously worked at Cowdenbeath and St Mirren.

Neilson left to join MK Dons last week and Hearts director of football Craig Levein has made clear his desire to recruit an intelligent young coach in his place.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308788.1480886073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308788.1480886073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Cathro is about to become Hearts' new head coach","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro is about to become Hearts' new head coach","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308788.1480886073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-reaction-rollercoaster-end-to-a-rollercoaster-week-1-4308694","id":"1.4308694","articleHeadline": "Hearts reaction: Rollercoaster end to a rollercoaster week","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480919421000 ,"articleLead": "

Life goes on at Hearts in the wake of Robbie Neilson’s departure. Youth coaches Jon Daly and Andy Kirk took charge in Dingwall on Saturday, although for much of the afternoon it was like Neilson hadn’t gone anywhere.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308693.1480874382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie Walker won a penalty in stoppage time for Hearts - but missed it. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

This was another frenetic fixture, characterised by sloppy defending, four goals and two penalties – the second of which would have won the game for Hearts had Ross County 
goalkeeper Scott Fox not saved from Jamie Walker.

Hearts continue to entertain as they did in the final weeks of Neilson’s tenure, although Daly has no desire to succeed him. The Irishman is standing in temporarily alongside his Riccarton counterpart Kirk. They will gladly step aside once Hearts appoint Neilson’s successor.

Ian Cathro is the main target and could be in place before the weekend trip to Ibrox. Saturday past may just be a one-off, but Daly and Kirk were determined to inspire. “You can’t feel sorry for yourself in football. There’s always the next game,” said Daly.

“Robbie’s done a fantastic job. He’s recruited the right players with the right mentality so, when situations like this occur, they know how to deal with it. We all wish Robbie the best but the boys are Hearts players and they need to focus on getting the right results for Hearts. There was no hangover on Saturday and that was down to the professionalism of the players.

“The boys showed a lot of character to respond to the situation that’s been going on over the last few days. We spoke to them about it and said it’s not in our control. We told them the match was the only thing we could effect and I thought they were all different class.”

An encouraging performance wasn’t enough to bring three points back from the Highlands. Hearts had to settle for a draw after Fox saved Walker’s penalty in the fifth minute of added time.

Jay McEveley’s hooked effort put the hosts ahead just before the interval. Hearts recovered after the break with two goals inside three minutes. First, Arnaud Djoum prodded home a shot by Bjorn Johnsen. Then Callum Paterson put the visitors 2-1 in front following Djoum’s cross.

It should be noted that Hearts goalkeeper Jack Hamilton produced three vital stops early in the second half. County went for the jugular when play restarted and Hamilton pulled off a stunning double save to repel two netbound efforts from Michael Gardyne at the far post. Minutes later, he also stopped Liam Boyce’s shot.

When County equalised on 86 minutes from the penalty spot, it was more than justified. Faycal Rherras handled a cross and Boyce converted from 12 yards after referee Willie Collum pointed to the spot. Walker couldn’t follow Boyce’s lead, though, after being fouled by Andrew Davies. One point apiece was probably fair.

“We wanted nine points out of nine but it wasn’t to be,” said Paterson, referring to impressive wins over Motherwell and Rangers prior to this fixture. “Thankfully, we got something out of it. We were on top for the majority of the game.

“They went 1-0 up against the run of play. We came back to go 2-1 up but they had the lion’s share of possession and chances in the last ten minutes. Maybe a draw was a fair result. Missing the penalty is a bit of a sucker-punch but getting a point is better than nothing.”

The Scotland full-back feels excited at the prospect of a new head coach taking charge this week. “I can’t wait to work with the new manager. We don’t know who it is yet but we’ll find out soon enough. We’ve shown we have depth and diversity in the squad so he’ll be able to mix it up.”

Daly and Kirk were forced to think quickly during the second half when centre-back Igor Rossi limped off with what looked like a groin problem. They had the wherewithal to introduce Alim Ozturk and Daly paid tribute to Neilson for assembling such a rich squad.

“You have to give credit to Robbie and Stevie. They’ve left a fantastic squad of players for whoever takes over. When the new man sees the squad he will inherit, he will be pleasantly surprised. My job was fairly simple. The team pratically picked itself because of the performances the boys had put in. We had to deal with a 
couple of injuries but you’ve got a good squad of players. You’re putting on top players so it was quite comfortable. I really enjoyed it.

“We were the better team in the first half in terms of keeping the ball. We’d worked on dealing with balls into our box, dealing with the first and second ball, so it was disappointing to concede the first goal like we did.

“If one or two of their chances go in early in the second half, we’re probably dead and buried but the boys responded. We got 
ourselves 2-1 up by showing great character.

“We were probably running on empty after the games we’ve had. We nicked a penalty through great play by Jamie Walker but the keeper guesses the right way and saves it.”

The result leaves Hearts third in the Ladbrokes 
Premiership. Not a bad position for the new incumbent to start from.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308693.1480874382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308693.1480874382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jamie Walker won a penalty in stoppage time for Hearts - but missed it. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie Walker won a penalty in stoppage time for Hearts - but missed it. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308693.1480874382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/gary-mackay-expectations-will-be-high-for-hearts-new-man-1-4308516","id":"1.4308516","articleHeadline": "Gary Mackay: Expectations will be high for Hearts’ new man","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480919417000 ,"articleLead": "

Robbie Neilson has left behind both solid foundations and high expectations for his successor as Hearts’ head coach.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308515.1480851706!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro looks likely to be the next Hearts head coach. Pic: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

I know there had been a few grumbles recently, but I really hope supporters remember Robbie in a positive light because overall he was a clear success. He had a sensational first year in which he led us out of the Championship and then consolidated us at the top end of the Premiership.

He has been an excellent servant to the club as a player and head coach and I wish him all the best in England. I hope MK Dons proves to be a stepping stone for him to 
further his career at the top end of English football.

He leaves us on a solid footing for the new incumbent. It’s hard for anyone to come in and take charge of Hearts at any time, but this might be an even harder time to take over, simply because expectations will be so high.

Often a new manager is inheriting a difficult situation, but the new man is taking over a good squad who look equipped to challenge for second and who finished off in good form under Robbie. Rightly or wrongly, everything is going to be compared against what Robbie did. First and foremost, the new man will be expected to maintain the level Robbie has had us at for the last year and a half, and then help the team kick on in the league and make headway in the cups. That would be a big challenge for anyone in the game, no matter how experienced they are because there have been plenty seasons in the past when Hearts haven’t finished in the top three.

It looks like young Ian Cathro will be the new head coach and he is someone I don’t know much about apart from what I’ve read, so I have no idea about how suited he is to the role. In a general sense, if we bring in someone who has never played professionally or managed a team of senior players before, it stands to reason that leading a team of Hearts’ stature will be a challenge, but Craig Levein will be well aware of what is required and wouldn’t put anyone in he didn’t think could handle it.

It’ll be a brave move, but bravery can often pay off, as we saw with the performance against Rangers on Wednesday which ended Robbie’s reign on such a high note.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308515.1480851706!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308515.1480851706!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Cathro looks likely to be the next Hearts head coach. Pic: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro looks likely to be the next Hearts head coach. Pic: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308515.1480851706!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-want-austin-macphee-as-coach-but-face-battle-with-sfa-1-4308345","id":"1.4308345","articleHeadline": "Hearts want Austin MacPhee as coach but face battle with SFA","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480831200000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts want Austin MacPhee to work alongside Ian Cathro in a radical new managerial set-up at Tynecastle.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308344.1480802950!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Austin McPhee is part of the Northern Ireland coaching team"} ,"articleBody": "

However, MacPhee, who is Northern Ireland assistant, is also wanted by the Scottish Football Association as performance director and by a Major League Soccer club in the United States.

The 37-year-old has emerged as the SFA’s preferred candidate after a series of interviews conducted earlier this month for the post vacated by Brian McClair in July.

The in-demand coach had looked set to take the Hampden job but must now decide if his future lies with Hearts, the SFA or in MLS.

The Tynecastle club are in the process of trying to replace Robbie Neilson who resigned last week to become manager of MK Dons.

Hearts have identified Newcastle United assistant Cathro as the leading candidate and the Edinburgh club are expected to make an official approach to request permission to speak to him.

MacPhee, pictured, is the No.1 choice to be Cathro’s assistant and Hearts are understood to have spoken to the Irish FA. Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill is believed to be happy to allow MacPhee to combine his Irish duties with a role at Hearts.

The potential offered by the Cathro-MacPhee combination will be exciting for Hearts fans.

Both men have forged reputations as innovative coaches despite neither having a professional playing career to speak of.

Cathro has gone from setting up his own football school in his native Dundee to working in the top flight in Spain and Portugal and on to Newcastle. He is now poised, at 30, to become the youngest top-flight manager in Scotland.

MacPhee, from Cupar, is an English and psychology graduate. He left St Mirren’s coaching staff in 2014 and was recruited by the Mexican Football Federation to provide video analysis at the World Cup in Brazil. He was then part of O’Neill’s staff as Northern Ireland qualified for Euro 2016 as group winners, then reached the second stage in France.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "GRAHAM BEAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308344.1480802950!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308344.1480802950!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Austin McPhee is part of the Northern Ireland coaching team","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Austin McPhee is part of the Northern Ireland coaching team","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308344.1480802950!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/ross-county-2-2-hearts-fox-denies-hearts-a-win-in-dingwall-1-4308154","id":"1.4308154","articleHeadline": "Ross County 2-2 Hearts: Fox denies Hearts a win in Dingwall","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480786112741 ,"articleLead": "

Ross County goalkeeper Scott Fox denied Hearts victory in the fifth minute of stoppage-time by saving Jamie Walker's penalty.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308153.1480786353!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' striker Bjorn Johnsen challenges during a frantic match in Dingwall"} ,"articleBody": "

A frantic second half in Dingwall saw three goals and two penalties but ultimately it was Fox who saved a point for the hosts.

Youth coaches Jon Daly and Andy Kirk took charge of Hearts following Robbie Neilson's departure to MK Dons. They had to contend with a 1-0 half-time deficit due to Jay McEveley's goal for County, but Arnaud Djoum and Callum Paterson struck after the break to put the Edinburgh club 2-1 ahead.

Liam Boyce equalised in the 86th minute from the penalty spot, but Hearts wasted the opportunity to steal victory at the death. Walker's penalty was pushed to safety by Fox and both teams had to settle for a point each.

With the same starting line-up that beat Motherwell 3-0 and Rangers 2-0 in the last week, the visitors had arrived in the Highlands confident. A pre-match minute's silence marked the death of former County goalkeeper Benny Sutherland and the Chapecoense disaster.

Thereafter, Hearts put together a confident start to the match. Their first scoring chance arrived on 11 minutes when Paterson's downward header from Don Cowie's corner was cleared off the goal line by the County midfielder Tim Chow.

Bjorn Johnsen and Djoum both had attempts off target as the teams displayed some impressive flowing passing moves. One of those led to the clearest scoring opportunity of a very open first half.

A cross into the Hearts penalty area was headed out to Michael Gardyne, who forced it back in towards Boyce. His shot on the turn forced an instinctive parry from the Tynecastle goalkeeper Jack Hamilton, thus preserving the blank scoreline.

The deadlock lasted until two minutes from the interval. Hearts fell behind when they failed to defend a set-piece. Chris Routis' free-kick to the back post was headed down by Andrew Davies and McEveley, with his back to goal, showed good agility to hook the ball over his shoulder and high into the net.

County went for the jugular when the second half began and would have scored again but for Hamilton's brilliant goalkeeping. The Scotland squad member produced a stunning double save to repel two netbound efforts from Gardyne at the far post. Minutes later, he also stopped Boyce's shot.

The Highlanders' energy continued as they pressed Hearts all over the pitch. Johnsen managed to turn his marker, McEveley for a shot which Fox held low to his right. Hearts' American striker was fouled turning the same player moment later for a free-kick which led to the equaliser.

Robbie Muirhead's delivery was only partially cleared and Johnsen struck a first-time shot from around 14 yards. Djoum stuck his foot out in front of the keeper and stabbed the ball into the net. That imbued Hearts with belief at a vital time in the match and they struck again within minutes.

Djoum's cross from the right saw substitute Conor Sammon unsettle the home defence, and Paterson charged in to prod the ball past Fox. That sparked wild celebrations in the away end as the travelling support acclaimed the swift turnaround.

There was still plenty drama to unfold, however. Hamilton made another superb save to push Boyce's header for a corner. Then came the moment for Hearts to kill the game. On 78 minutes, Fox was dispossessed by Johnsen inside his own penalty area but, from a tight angle, the forward could only shoot into the side netting.

The away camp would rue that when County equalised. A cross to the back post was handled by Faycal Rherras and referee Willie Collum pointed to the penalty spot. Boyce stepped up for a convincing conversion from 12 yards to the game at 2-2.

Even then, Hearts should have left with three points rather than one. Walker was scythed down by Davies in the fifth minute of stoppage-time for game's second penalty. From the spot, Fox produced a crucial save low to his right to earn the Dingwall side a point and leave Hearts disappointed.

Ross County (4-4-1-1): Fox; Fraser, Davies, McEveley, Van der Weg; Dingwall, Chow, Routis, Gardyne; Boyce; Curran

Subs

65: Schalk for Curran

83: Woods for Chow

84: Dow for Dingwall

Unused subs: McCarey, Franks, Cikos, McShane.

Hearts (4-2-3-1): Hamilton; Paterson, Souttar, Rossi, Rherras; Cowie, Kitchen; Walker, Djoum, Muirhead; Johnsen.

Subs

64: Sammon for Muirhead

77: Ozturk for Rossi

84: Buaben for Cowie

Unused subs: Noring, L Smith, Currie, Watt.

Referee: Willie Collum.

Attendance: 4042.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson at the Global Energy Stadium"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308153.1480786353!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308153.1480786353!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts' striker Bjorn Johnsen challenges during a frantic match in Dingwall","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' striker Bjorn Johnsen challenges during a frantic match in Dingwall","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308153.1480786353!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/maroon-memories-juanjo-takes-his-chance-to-shine-1-4306778","id":"1.4306778","articleHeadline": "Maroon Memories: Juanjo takes his chance to shine","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480746646000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts returned to winning ways at Tynecastle as they again reserved their best form for Dundee United.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306777.1480636466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Darren Jackson celebrates with Juanjo"} ,"articleBody": "

In the battle between the two clubs most likely to be fighting it out for third position in the SPL and the UEFA Cup place it brings, Hearts were seldom a dominant force.

The victory was the Jambos’ first in the league since they defeated United 2-0 at Tannadice on September 25 and ends a bizarre sequence of losing costly late goals when in winning positions. Colin Cameron and Gary Locke were both suspended, offering Spanish winger Juanjo his chance, while Roddy McKenzie kept his place in goal ahead of Gilles Rousset.

The game’s first attack of note produced the opening goal after Juanjo’s neat lay-off released Stephane Adam for a driving run on the left flank. The Frenchman’s cross was met firmly by Juanjo with enough power and placement to deceive Alan Combe in the United goal and give Hearts an early advantage.

In difficult conditions, a swirling wind making most passes look overhit, both sides struggled to settle and United were slow to muster a genuine response to falling behind.

After 13 minutes, however, they had a penalty claim rejected by referee Hugh Dallas when Stephen McConalogue’s goalward header struck Paul Ritchie.

If Combe was slow for the goal he redeemed himself with two fine saves within a minute just before the half-hour mark, denying first Gary Naysmith and then Scott Severin from long range.

Hearts were the more attacking force by the half-hour mark but were being let down by their unwillingness to shoot as their strikers tended to be over-elaborate in front of goal.

United should have levelled within 40 seconds of the restart after half-time when an Anthony Smith cross somehow found its way to McConalogue at the far post only for the youngster to slide the ball into the side-netting.

Hearts effectively sealed the points on 69 minutes when another Adam run set up Darren Jackson, who produced a chip of stunning quality to wrongfoot Combe and put the home team 2-0 ahead.

Combe was again out of position moments later after clearing the ball for a throw-in and Severin was unfortunate with an audacious effort from 35 yards which drifted wide.

United’s spirit was undimmed, Tassos Venetis dragging a shot wide after 80 minutes, but Hearts finished the more composed and their supremacy was demonstrated with only two minutes remaining when Adam capped an impressive display with a stylish finish after Gary Wales had spotted him in space on the right.

Hearts: McKenzie, Murray, Ritchie, Pressley, Naysmith, Severin, Fulton, Juanjo, Jackson, McSwegan, Adam.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Hearts 3, Dundee United 0: December 5, 1999"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306777.1480636466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306777.1480636466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Darren Jackson celebrates with Juanjo","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Darren Jackson celebrates with Juanjo","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306777.1480636466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/craig-levein-i-want-new-hearts-coach-in-for-ibrox-trip-1-4307636","id":"1.4307636","articleHeadline": "Craig Levein: I want new Hearts coach in for Ibrox trip","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480746603000 ,"articleLead": "

Craig Levein hopes to have Hearts’ new head coach in place ahead of next Saturday’s Ibrox showdown with Rangers. The director of football is adamant that Robbie Neilson’s successor must be willing to embrace youth and have the required temperament to handle the lofty expectations at Tynecastle.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307635.1480701246!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Levein addresses the media ahead ot today's clash with Ross County. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Youth-team coaches Jon Daly and Andy Kirk will take interim charge of the team for today’s Premiership match at Ross County after Neilson and his No.2 Stevie Crawford left to join MK Dons following Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over Rangers.

Hearts are expected to make an official approach to Newcastle United over the weekend to request permission to open talks with their assistant manager Ian Cathro, the burgeoning 30-year-old Dundonian who is the clear front-runner for the job.

Levein, who faced the media at Hearts’ pre-match press conference yesterday, refused to be drawn on individual names, although he said nothing to dispel the widespread belief that Cathro will be appointed over the next few days.

“Ian is a friend of mine but he is employed by another club, so I don’t want to talk about him,” said Levein. “The profile hasn’t changed from Robbie really. We are looking for a young, intelligent, energetic, enthusiastic coach who can help us move on from where we are. That is the approach we have decided on. The salary is not astronomical and, just like signing players, sometimes you need to see potential in people and develop them with room to improve.

“A lot of experienced managers can be set in their ways and have expectation levels of salary and suchlike. And some of the really serious ones, if we were to go after them, we wouldn’t be able to afford. It is about finding someone who is value for money who maybe doesn’t have the ceilings in their thought processes that everyone else in Scotland has.

“We have this vision of developing young players so there is no point in me going out and getting a coach who has never worked with young players and who won’t promote young players.”

Asked if he would expect his new man in place for visit to Ibrox next Saturday, Levein replied: “That would be nice. Whether I am optimistic or not about that is irrelevant. But I’d be hopeful.”

Despite elevating Hearts from the Championship to second place in the Premiership in two-and-a-half years, Neilson, who was described as having done a “fantastic” job by Levein, divided opinion among the support, to the extent that an aeroplane was charted to fly over the stadium with a banner calling for his head shortly after losing to Hibs in the Scottish Cup last season. Levein, who has managed and played for Hearts, knows his new head coach, as well as being a talented operator, must have the strength of character to cope with the intensity of the job.

“See this job, if you don’t have the ability to handle pressure, then it’s the wrong job because you get stick,” he said. “I say that to players as well. Sometimes players moan when they get booed at times. I say ‘well go and play at Cowdenbeath – if you want to play with Hearts deal with the situation’. And if you want to manage Hearts you need to deal with the situation.

“We just laughed about the plane thing, I thought Robbie dealt really well with it, and he has dealt well with everything that has been thrown at him. It was his first job and we have had far more experienced guys [managing Hearts] who were getting a hell of a lot more money who got nowhere near the level of consistency he did.”

Much has been made of Levein’s role in first-team affairs, with suggestions in the past that he has an overbearing presence on the head coach and effectively calls the shots. The director of football scoffed at such claims and insisted he will be easy for the new man to work with.

“I have to laugh,” he said. “Just because you guys [the media, although he said this with a smile] don’t get on with me doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t get on with me. I had a fantastic relationship with Robbie. It was easy. He was in charge of everything to do with the first team and I was looking after everything else. He would sometimes come to me and ask advice about stuff and sometimes he would ignore it and sometimes he would do something I suggested. I’m here to help and the perception of this role is skewed. I’m here to help, not to tell people what to do.

“I just think that people don’t understand the role and then, of course, some people don’t like me so they continue to say the same stuff even though it doesn’t make sense. The the role was always to assist the head coach. It was never to tell people what to do. If I had been telling Robbie what to do, never ever is there a point when you find out how good he is. So, the head coach has to make his own decisions because if he doesn’t I would be as well doing the job myself. I have so much stuff here to deal with. The academy has grown at such an enormously quick rate and there is so much stuff going on that needs attention.”

Levein explained that the current structure at Hearts should, in theory, mean that the departure of Neilson and Crawford – sports scientist John Hill is expected to go to MK Dons with them – shouldn’t unsettle the team too much.

“The idea is to have some sort of continuity,” he said. “That’s what the whole thing is based around. What happens at a lot of clubs is that they have a manager and they are successful or they are not. If they are successful, he leaves and somebody else comes in who might want a different style of management and change the way things are done. Even worse than that, if a manager doesn’t do well, a new manager comes in, wants rid of all those players and all the costs that are attached to that. If there is a level of continuity, then everybody knows what it is we are looking for, what players we are looking for, who we are scouting. Also, we are developing our own young players to come in and sit within the team. I would be very surprised if the person we brought in didn’t like the players that we have.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4307635.1480701246!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307635.1480701246!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig Levein addresses the media ahead ot today's clash with Ross County. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Levein addresses the media ahead ot today's clash with Ross County. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4307635.1480701246!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-will-be-getting-a-genius-if-they-appoint-ian-cathro-1-4307458","id":"1.4307458","articleHeadline": "Hearts ‘will be getting a genius’ if they appoint Ian Cathro","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480690454000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts will be appointing a “genius” if, as expected, Ian Cathro continues his “fairytale” rise into football management by replacing Robbie Neilson as head coach.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307456.1480690384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro, pictured during his time as a coach at Valencia. Pic: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

That is the verdict of Stevie Campbell, who has paid close attention as the driven 30-year-old Dundonian football boffin has set about defying the doubters by climbing the coaching ladder.

From coaching the likes of Ryan Gauld and John Souttar at primary school age around a decade ago, Cathro, with no notable playing background, has already elevated himself to become assistant manager of Newcastle United after a fruitful stint in the Dundee United academy was followed by education-enhancing spells as assistant to the highly-regarded Nuno Espirito Santo at both Rio Ave and Valencia.

Craig Levein, Hearts’ current director of football, handed the then-23-year-old Cathro his big break when, as manager of United some seven years ago, he asked him to help lead a restructure of the youth system at Tannadice by appointing him as junior academy manager. Campbell was a highly-regarded youth director at the time and remains close to Cathro to this day. When it emerged on Monday that Neilson would be heading for MK Dons, Campbell was in no doubt who Levein would turn to as his primary target to fill the void.

“We’re both from Dundee and I knew of Ian even before I joined United about 11 years ago,” Campbell told the Evening News. “He was well-known to all football people in the Dundee area just because his approach was so different. I was just astounded by him – and I really mean that word. This guy, in my opinion, was always destined for this sort of thing. He just did things so, so differently. He was working away with young boys like Souttar, Gauldy and Craig Wighton in his Cathro Clinic, and that pretty much transformed into Box Soccer, which is doing really well. Although he’s still behind Box Soccer, he’s obviously moved on to bigger and better things.

“I remember being in the room with Craig and Ian the day he was appointed as junior academy manager at United. I’ve never felt so inept in my life because those two just talked and talked about all aspects of football, and I couldn’t get a word in, which is not like me. Their relationship just grew from there.

“Craig was trying to restructure the academy and needed some help with it. He asked Ian to make up a curriculum for all the academy teams and, I’m not joking you, Ian came in the following day with the biggest curriculum you’ll ever see in your life. He must have worked right round the clock, and that’s the way he is. I think Craig has been quoted previously as saying he’d never seen anyone in youth football capable of doing what Ian was doing. People talk about innovators, but that is the perfect way to describe Ian. Him and Craig have a great relationship and rapport with each other.

“I know Ian turned him down a few years ago when he asked him to come to Hearts [as under-20 coach], but Craig’s not daft – he won’t hold that against him. He’ll do the best for Hearts. The minute Robbie looked like he was going, it was obvious to me that Cathro would be the man Craig would go for. In my opinion, the time is right.”

Campbell, 19 years his senior, was spellbound by the manner in which Cathro went about his business in his early 20s, and believes he will now be operating on an even greater level after his subsequent experiences in Portugal, Spain and England. “Me, Craig, [senior academy manager] Brian Grant and Ian worked closely together and it was an eye-opener for myself and Brian, who had both been in the game for years and worked with some fantastic coaches,” said Campbell. “We’d look at each other now and again and just think ‘wow’ because what he did was just so different to what we had been used to. There’s still a bit of a legacy at United with all the things he helped implement at the club.

“When the likes of Gauldy and Souttar came to me around 15 years old, I’d never seen kids so advanced in terms of their education, and that’s all down to Ian. It’s a pity you can’t keep boys like Ian working with you forever, but he was just that ambitious that he had to move on.

“The dynamic was great at United but unfortunately it didn’t last too long because Craig took the Scotland job and came back to take Ian to the SFA. I told a newspaper at the time they wouldn’t hold on to him for long because he’s on a different planet. I’ve worked with some absolutely brilliant coaches throughout my career, but I’ve never come across anyone like Ian. Even when he took the under-17s at United, I’ve never seen so much preparation and in-depth analysis. With all due respect, this is under-17 level we’re talking about, but I was blown away by the way he worked.

“He was always coming up with new ideas. By the time he’d implemented something, he was already on to something else, and that was the breathtaking thing about him. I’d be thinking ‘right, I see what he’s trying to do – I get it’ and then suddenly he’d be away on to something else. He was just an absolute wealth of knowledge.

“Everything he did was outside the box compared to the norm in Scottish football, and he ruffled a few feathers in that time, but he was just so ambitious to educate himself and one day become a manager. That’s going back five or six years, so you can only imagine what else he’s added to his knowledge since he’s been at Rio Ave, Valencia and Newcastle. He’s ready now to step into management, and he’ll conduct himself great with the players. He’s a genius, and I mean that word.”

There is an element of scepticism about Cathro’s credentials because of his relative youthfulness and the fact he hasn’t taken the conventional route into management. Campbell is adamant, however, that the burgeoning coach will have no problem persuading the Hearts players – of whom Souttar is now among this number – to buy into his methods.

“A hell of a lot of people have said in the past ‘Cathro will never do this or that because he didn’t play the game’,” said Campbell. “Believe me, after he’s worked with the Hearts players for a day, they will know exactly what they’ve got there. He’ll win them over with his incredible knowledge and his tactical nous immediately. He’ll only win over the supporters by getting results, but just knowing him and how driven and successful he has been in everything that he’s done, he will succeed. I’m not remotely worried about that – he will get success.

“John will already have told the rest of the Hearts players about Ian. I know what players are like, they’ll have been asking about him. When I was in charge of John and Gauldy in older age-groups, I welcomed the fact they would still go back to Ian to continue their development with him even though he was working with the younger ones. I never felt threatened by that – I just thought let him pass on as much of his knowledge to them as possible because he had done so much with them when they were younger. Ian keeps in touch with all his players of that ilk, and John will have the Hearts boys well-briefed, that’s for sure.

“Players always know when a coach has got knowledge, and the fact he’s not been a big-name player will not be a problem with the Hearts players, and hopefully the fans either, sooner or later. He’s thick-skinned, single-minded, some people would even say selfish, but he’s just so driven to succeed that nothing will stand in his way. I’m confident of that.”

Neilson found that even a rapid ascent from the Championship to second in the Premiership wasn’t enough to keep some supporters onside. Campbell insists Cathro won’t be fazed by the level of expectation at Hearts. In fact he has backed him to thrive on it, to the point where he is headhunted at some point in the future.

“He’s served his apprenticeship under the likes of Nuno and [Rafa] Benitez and now he’ll feel he’s ready to take the reins himself. I’ll be honest, he’ll move on from Hearts in a couple of years because he’s ambitious. That’s just the way football management is. You don’t get managers staying at one team for a long time now.

“Ian spoke to Hearts a few years ago but I think he did the right thing staying abroad. Not many people would go to Rio Ave from Britain to progress themselves but he did that. I remember meeting Nuno to do a coaching session a while back and he worked so differently to what we’d been used in Britain, and Cathro was in that same mould.

“He’ll be different and he’ll shake a few people up, because he did that at United even in his tender years. He wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea. He can be outspoken but that’s down to his single-mindedness and his intelligence of the game.”

Campbell believes Cathro will embrace the task of fast-tracking youngsters from Hearts’ academy into the first team. “Hearts have got some good young players in their system and Ian will not be scared to put them in the team,” he said. “At United, he used to challenge Gauldy and Souttar to get into the team at 16. Even that was an eye-opener for us. We were thinking ‘calm down Ian, maybe at 18 or 19’ but he was right because Jackie McNamara threw them in at 16, which was brilliant. I’m sure Ian would do exactly the same at Hearts.”

Cathro’s emergence as a coach of genuine substance has heartened Campbell, who detected plenty were willing him to fail when he first started making waves in the Dundee area. “It’s brilliant to see what he’s done,” he said. “He’s a local lad who deserves everything that comes his way. It really is a fairytale story. He wasn’t a boy to go out socialising – he was just so focused. A lot of people thought ‘what’s this guy all about’ just because he was so different, but I think the more people worked closely with him, they soon realised exactly what he was about. You know what people are like, there were many doubters about him in the early days. But he’s highly respected by everyone who worked with him at United and I think he’s well on course – if he hasn’t already done it – to proving these people wrong.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4307456.1480690384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307456.1480690384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Cathro, pictured during his time as a coach at Valencia. Pic: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro, pictured during his time as a coach at Valencia. Pic: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4307456.1480690384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4307457.1480690385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307457.1480690385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stevie Campbell reckons Cathro will win over the Hearts players after just one training session. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stevie Campbell reckons Cathro will win over the Hearts players after just one training session. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4307457.1480690385!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/craig-levein-on-departure-of-neilson-and-where-next-for-hearts-1-4307166","id":"1.4307166","articleHeadline": "Craig Levein on departure of Neilson and where next for Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480678542000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts director of football Craig Levein says the club are looking for a “young and energetic” coach to replace MK Dons-bound Robbie Neilson.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307165.1480679485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts director of football Craig Levein speaks to the media ahead of tomorrow's clash with Ross County. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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Hearts accepted a compensation offer for Neilson on Thursday night and Under-20s coaches Jon Daly and Andy Kirk will take charge of the team for Saturday’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Ross County in Dingwall.

Newcastle assistant coach Ian Cathro is the runaway favourite but the Edinburgh club have not yet made any approaches for a new head coach.

However, Levein is hopeful of getting someone in place before the Jambos play Rangers at Ibrox on December 10 along with an assistant, as Stevie Crawford is also moving to Milton Keynes.

Speaking at a media conference at Hearts’ training base, Levein said: “I’m not going to get involved in talking about individuals. Ian is a friend of mine but he is employed by another club, so I don’t want to talk about him.

“The profile hasn’t changed from Robbie really. We are looking for a young, intelligent, energetic, enthusiastic coach who can help us move on from where we are. And that’s the key, to try to get someone in who can improve us.”

Levein and 30-year-old Cathro worked together at Dundee United, and Neilson played under the former Scotland manager at several clubs, but the Hearts director of football insists an existing relationship is not a prerequisite.

“I don’t think that’s vital,” said Levein, who revealed they had received a number of interesting applications already.

“The structure is important. There are two positions obviously which we need to fill. With Jon and Any taking the team, it gives me a bit of space to look for a successor.”

When asked if he was surprised Neilson had swapped a team in second spot in Scotland for a move to the lower reaches of Sky Bet League One, Levein was diplomatic.

“Robbie’s a very logical person,” he said. “He has always said he wanted to manage at the top level down in England. He explained to me that he felt if he could go down to England in a good, stable job and do a good job there, then he would have a better chance of getting a higher level club. He saw that as his pathway. Whether I agree with him or not is almost irrelevant.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to MK Dons because they have a bigger stadium than us and they have the potential to be a good team. He goes with my best wishes.

“I have a lot of admiration for him and on a personal level I really like him. He’s a good guy and the amount of work he put in here to help get us back to a position where we should be, I will be eternally grateful. I think the Hearts fans and certainly the board of directors are as well.”

Levein claimed there was little point trying to persuade the 36-year-old to stay.

“Once you have made your mind up you want to do something... and I don’t know if you know Robbie but he is very much his own man,” he said.

“And at some point we had an idea this would happen so at least we have been able to work away behind the scenes and make it as seamless a transition as possible.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4307165.1480679485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4307165.1480679485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts director of football Craig Levein speaks to the media ahead of tomorrow's clash with Ross County. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts director of football Craig Levein speaks to the media ahead of tomorrow's clash with Ross County. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4307165.1480679485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/lennon-stunned-by-hearts-fans-negativity-towards-neilson-1-4306697","id":"1.4306697","articleHeadline": "Lennon stunned by Hearts fans’ negativity towards Neilson","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480660254000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs manager Neil Lennon is astounded that some Hearts supporters are happy to see the back of Robbie Neilson and believes that the MK Dons-bound head coach leaves big shoes to fill.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306695.1480631464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson's record at Hearts is impressive, according to Neil Lennon"} ,"articleBody": "

Despite a largely fruitful two-and-a-half years in which he led the Tynecastle side from the Championship to second in the Premiership, the 36-year-old became the subject of growing disenchantment among some sections of the support, with the Scottish Cup defeat by Hibs in February remaining a particular bone of contention among his critics.

However, Lennon can’t understand how anyone could view Neilson’s reign at Tynecastle in a negative light.

“Robbie has done a very good job at Hearts. What more could he do? The Scottish Cup loss was just one game and you have to look at the two-and-a-half years that went before.

“He got them promoted from the Championship, they finished third last season and they are second in the Premiership right now. That is pretty impressive.

“Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. Robbie was stable at Hearts. There is only one dominant team in Scotland and that is Celtic and the rest are going to be inconsistent at times. Hearts have been very impressive under Robbie and why that has divided opinion, I don’t know.”

Lennon, who had a chastening experience managing Bolton Wanderers in both the English Championship and League One prior to arriving at Hibs, admits he can see why Neilson has decided to leave the stability of life at Hearts to test himself with MK Dons, currently threatened by relegation from League One.

“There are pros and cons,” he said. “The last manager, Karl Robinson, who I know very well, was there for six years which is a lifetime in the modern game, so you’d like to think he’s going into a stable environment. Like everything else, though, it’s a results-driven business.

“I think the league position belies the quality they have in the squad, so he’ll inherit a decent squad for that level having come down from the league above.

“They get good crowds as well, but the flip side of that is he sees Hearts playing well against Rangers in front of 17,000 people, so then you’ve got to consider ‘why would you give that up?’ The only person who can answer that would be Robbie, depending on his own ambitions.

“Maybe he wants a crack at England and sees this as his opportunity. There’s a danger there because there’s a risk in every move you make. There’s a familiarity he has with Hearts, that he won’t have at MK Dons, so he’ll have to get used to that. He’s still young but ultimately the difference between Scotland and England is money. People ask why MK Dons can attract a manager going very well at the top of the league in Scotland. It’s because, even in League One, they can pay a lot more money than Scottish clubs. I’m not saying that’s the sole reason he’s going but it’s an incentive.”

Lennon explained that managing a team through a 
46-game league campaign will be a test for Neilson. “What he will have to get used to is the brutality of it all,” he said. “It is relentless as it is a 46-game season and you are playing Saturday and Tuesday every week. He will have to manage his squad as best he can and use the market as best he can in January.

“I am sure there will be money available for him in January as they will be one of the more stable clubs in that division. Good luck to him.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306695.1480631464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306695.1480631464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robbie Neilson's record at Hearts is impressive, according to Neil Lennon","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson's record at Hearts is impressive, according to Neil Lennon","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306695.1480631464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306696.1480631473!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306696.1480631473!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Neil Lennon says the English Football League is 'brutal'","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Neil Lennon says the English Football League is 'brutal'","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306696.1480631473!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-under-20s-host-rangers-in-youth-cup-at-oriam-1-4306627","id":"1.4306627","articleHeadline": "Hearts Under-20s host Rangers in Youth Cup at Oriam","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480660231000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts Under-20s meet Rangers in the SFA Youth Cup on Sunday at the Oriam Performance Centre in Edinburgh.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306626.1480615596!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts and Rangers met in the 2014 Youth Cup Final"} ,"articleBody": "

The Tynecastle club are hoping to take one step closer to the latter stages of the competition having reached two of the last three finals. They lost on penalties to Rangers in 2014 and were defeated 5-2 by Motherwell last season.

The fourth round tie kicks off at 5,00pm and Hearts will be out for revenge after losing 2-1 to Rangers in a Development League match at Ochilview on Monday.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306626.1480615596!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306626.1480615596!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts and Rangers met in the 2014 Youth Cup Final","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts and Rangers met in the 2014 Youth Cup Final","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306626.1480615596!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-turn-attention-to-ian-cathro-as-neilson-departs-1-4306773","id":"1.4306773","articleHeadline": "Hearts turn attention to Ian Cathro as Neilson departs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480660226000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts will today turn their attention to luring Ian Cathro north from Newcastle United after Robbie Neilson and Stevie Crawford headed to MK Dons.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306772.1480634293!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro is Hearts top choice for head coach"} ,"articleBody": "

Cathro is the clear frontrunner to succeed Neilson as head coach and Tynecastle officials are expected to make an official approach to Newcastle by Monday at the latest. The 30-year-old Scot is keen to forge a career in management having previously worked as an assistant at Rio Ave in Portugal and Valencia in Spain.

He is currently assistant to Rafa Benitez at Newcastle but retains a close relationship with Hearts director of football Craig Levein from their time together at Dundee United.

Neilson and Crawford are will be appointed manager and assistant in Milton Keynes after saying their goodbyes at Riccarton yesterday. A statement released by Hearts last night read: “The club can confirm that we have agreed terms with Milton Keynes Dons FC in relation to head coach Robbie Neilson and assistant head coach Stevie Crawford.

“Ann Budge, the board of directors and everyone at Heart of Midlothian Football Club would like to sincerely thank Robbie and Stevie for the enormous part they have played in helping to re-establish the club in the upper echelons of Scottish football.

“The record-breaking 2014-15 Championship-winning season, which secured our promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking, will long live in the memory of Hearts supporters, as will the highly impressive third-place finish and the return to European football which was achieved the following season. They leave us in an enviable position, sitting second in the Premiership table with a healthy playing squad, rich with talent and promise. We wish them every success in their new challenge with Milton Keynes Dons FC.

“We will now begin the formal process of recruiting a new head coach and assistant head coach. A further statement confirming interim arrangements for our game against Ross County on Saturday, will be released tomorrow morning.”

Levein was due to address the media at 10am this morning and will oversee the first-team squad against Ross County tomorrow along with youth coaches Jon Daly and Andy Kirk.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306772.1480634293!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306772.1480634293!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Cathro is Hearts top choice for head coach","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro is Hearts top choice for head coach","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306772.1480634293!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/djoum-neilson-one-of-the-best-but-hearts-will-deal-with-exit-1-4306743","id":"1.4306743","articleHeadline": "Djoum: Neilson one of the best but Hearts will deal with exit","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480660216000 ,"articleLead": "

When Robbie Neilson became Hearts’ head coach in 2014, they were second favourites to win the most hazardous-looking Championship in recent memory.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306741.1480634854!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Arnaud Djoum has praised departing Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson for always talking to his players"} ,"articleBody": "

That the 36-year-old was able to leave them second only to Celtic in the Premiership at the onset of December underlines the magnitude of the job he did in two-and-a-half consistently progressive years in charge.

Arnaud Djoum, the talismanic midfielder, is in no doubt about the calibre of man Hearts have lost after Neilson headed south to become manager of English League One side MK Dons.

“I’ve travelled a lot and have seen a lot of managers but the way Robbie works as a young manager is very good,” Djoum, who joined Hearts 15 months ago, told the Evening News. “He is very close to the players, which is really important to me. The coach I had before was not that close to the players, but Robbie is the type of coach I like because he talks to us a lot. He achieved almost everything expected of him here. He won the Championship before I was here, then finished third last season and now we’re second so I think he did a great job. He has had success over a long period of time and not a lot of coaches can say that.

“He’s a great manager. For me, he is one of the best I’ve had. I was really pleased to work with him. Robbie gave me a big opportunity to come here and gave me a lot of confidence, so all I can say to him is ‘thank you and good luck’. You never know in football, maybe our paths will cross again in the future.”

Although disappointed, Djoum is confident a change of head coach won’t knock Hearts off course. Newcastle United assistant Ian Cathro is the frontrunner to pick up the baton from Neilson.

“We are professional and we know that this kind of thing happens in football,” said Djoum. “We just have to deal with it and we will. The players all understand what’s happened and we will be professional. When the new coach comes, we will adapt to work the way he wants us to work. You just have to continue being professional.”

Director of football Craig Levein and under-20s coach Jon Daly are expected to take charge of Hearts away to Ross County tomorrow as they bid to make it three wins on the trot following a couple of rousing home victories over Motherwell and Rangers over the past week which have elevated them above Aberdeen and the Ibrox side. Djoum acknowledges his side, who had previously gone four games without a win, must be looking to return from Dingwall with a positive result if they are serious about remaining in second place. We need to continue with the level of performance we’ve had in our last two games to make sure we stay in a high position,” said Djoum. “Aberdeen and Rangers also want to be second so we need to start making sure we win almost every game. You have Celtic on top and then three more closely-matched teams behind them who are all fighting for second place. I don’t think there is a big difference between ourselves, Aberdeen and Rangers. Whichever team is most stable will be second. We have to try and be consistent and win most of the games we play.”

Hearts’ impressive displays against Motherwell and Rangers owed plenty to the excellent combination between play Djoum, back in his favoured advanced central-midfield role, and Bjorn Johnsen, the skilful central striker who has ignited in recent matches after a slow start to his time at Tynecastle. Djoum is hopeful that he is allowed to form a long-term partnership with the gangly Norwegian-American. “For me personally, playing No.10 behind Bjorn makes my job easier because we understand each other so well,” he said. “The last two games have been the first time for a while I’ve played two games in a row in the No.10 position and I think I’ve done well. I am happy to play behind Bjorn. I don’t know what will happen under the new coach but I will be really pleased if I keep playing in the No.10 behind Bjorn because we work well together.”

The confidence the Hearts players have derived from their barnstorming victory over Rangers on Wednesday is likely to offset any sense of deflation surrounding Neilson’s departure when they face County tomorrow. Djoum is confident they will be able to maintain their focus in the Highlands in the same way that they did in midweek when the build-up to the match was dominated by talk of their head coach’s impending exit. “We are professional so we were able to stay focused on the match,” he said. “These things happen in football, so in an important game like the Rangers one, you can’t be thinking about other things. It was a great performance. We played really well and pressed very high from the start. Everybody played very well. It was very important to win and show everybody that we have a good team.

“I really enjoyed it. It was one of the best performances since I’ve been here. Rangers are a good team and a big club. To play the way we did against them shows everybody that we are a great team. The performance against Motherwell was good, but to play at the level we did against a big team like Rangers is really good because you could tell from playing against them that they are one of the better teams in the league.

“Nobody can say we didn’t deserve to win. We had more control of the game, pressed high and had a lot of chances. Now we are second, we have to continue playing like that to stay high in the table.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306741.1480634854!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306741.1480634854!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Arnaud Djoum has praised departing Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson for always talking to his players","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Arnaud Djoum has praised departing Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson for always talking to his players","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306741.1480634854!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306742.1480631180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306742.1480631180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Arnaud Djoum, left, arrives at Hearts training with Viktor Noring and Prince Buaben","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Arnaud Djoum, left, arrives at Hearts training with Viktor Noring and Prince Buaben","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306742.1480631180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/robbie-neilson-leaves-hearts-to-join-mk-dons-1-4306715","id":"1.4306715","articleHeadline": "Robbie Neilson leaves Hearts to join MK Dons","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480626907000 ,"articleLead": "

Robbie Neilson has left his role as Hearts head coach to join MK Dons.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306714.1480627018!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson aims to revive the fortunes of MK Dons"} ,"articleBody": "

The clubs finalised a compensation agreement today for Neilson and assistant coach Stevie Crawford.

Neilson leaves Hearts second in the Scottish Premiership after a rousing 2-0 win against Rangers on Wednesday night. Fans chanted his name near the end of his farewell match in recognition of his achievements at Tynecastle.

He led Hearts to the Scottish Championship title by a 21-point margin in 2015 and then guided them to third place and European qualification in their first season back in the top flight.

He now takes charge of a club 19th in England’s League One believing he can revive MK Dons’ fortunes under the stewardship of chairman Pete Winkelman.

The 36-year-old was at Riccarton today saying farewell and collecting his belongings before travelling to Buckinghamshire.

Under-20 coaches Jon Daly and Andy Kirk will take temporary charge of Hearts for this weekend’s league match at Ross County.

Ian Cathro, the Newcastle United assistant coach, is expected to replace Neilson but his arrival is not expected until next week.

A Hearts statement read: “The club can confirm that we have agreed terms with Milton Keynes Dons FC in relation to Head Coach Robbie Neilson and Assistant Head Coach Stevie Crawford.

“Ann Budge, the Board of Directors and everyone at Heart of Midlothian Football Club would like to sincerely thank Robbie and Stevie for the enormous part they have played in helping to re-establish the club in the upper echelons of Scottish football.

“The record-breaking 2014-15 Championship-winning season, which secured our promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking, will long live in the memory of Hearts supporters, as will the highly impressive third-place finish and the return to European football which was achieved the following season.

“They leave us in an enviable position, sitting second in the Premiership table with a healthy playing squad, rich with talent and promise. We wish them every success in their new challenge with Milton Keynes Dons FC.

“We will now begin the formal process of recruiting a new Head Coach and Assistant Head Coach.

“A further statement confirming interim arrangements for our game against Ross County on Saturday, will be released tomorrow morning.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306714.1480627018!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306714.1480627018!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robbie Neilson aims to revive the fortunes of MK Dons","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson aims to revive the fortunes of MK Dons","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306714.1480627018!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-play-prank-on-waiting-media-with-robbie-neilson-mask-1-4306555","id":"1.4306555","articleHeadline": "Hearts play prank on waiting media with Robbie Neilson mask","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480611979000 ,"articleLead": "

As Robbie Neilson heads south to join MK Dons, the Hearts boss and his coaching team still had time to play a prank on the waiting media at Riccarton this afternoon.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306553.1480611636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Robbie Neilson lookalike leaves Hearts' training complex earlier today. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Neilson is on his way to Milton Keynes this evening as he prepares to take the reins at the English League One club and said his goodbyes to players and staff at the Hearts training base earlier today. However, with the national media assembled outside the Oriam complex, Hearts sent out sports scientist John Hill, sporting a Robbie Neilson mask and a jacket with the initials RN on it – although the man’s trousers showed the giveaway initials JH – as they tried to deflect attention from Neilson’s exit.

The 36-year-old, who guided Hearts to a 2-0 victory over Rangers last night, was later spotted departing towards a different vehicle. It is anticipated that he will be announced as MK Dons’ new boss imminently.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306553.1480611636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306553.1480611636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Robbie Neilson lookalike leaves Hearts' training complex earlier today. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Robbie Neilson lookalike leaves Hearts' training complex earlier today. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306553.1480611636!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306569.1480611905!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306569.1480611905!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robbie Neilson leaves Hearts' training base for the last time. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson leaves Hearts' training base for the last time. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306569.1480611905!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/derby-boss-steve-mcclaren-reveals-interest-in-hearts-quartet-1-4306430","id":"1.4306430","articleHeadline": "Derby boss Steve McClaren reveals interest in Hearts quartet","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480606460000 ,"articleLead": "

Derby County manager Steve McClaren has revealed his interest in Hearts players Callum Paterson, Jamie Walker, John Souttar and Bjorn Johnsen.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306429.1480606390!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Derby County manager Steve McClaren watched on from the main stand last night"} ,"articleBody": "

McClaren was at Tynecastle on Wednesday night to watch the quartet in action in the 2-0 win over Rangers. He had been advised by scouts to watch them in person.

The former England manager stated he was also taking the chance to look at Rangers but explained why several Hearts players impressed him.

“Our scouts have been out and about,” said McClaren, whose club are currently ninth in the English Championship.

“They have talked about Rangers doing well, and they have got some good players, and there are four or five in the Hearts’ team, also.

“Yes, people are talking about Paterson but the Souttar boy at centre-back, Johnsen up front and Walker boy playing out wide – there are about four players the scouts said, ‘yes, have a look at them’.

“It was a great opportunity to go up and do that. We are always on the lookout and keeping track of players, and that’s why I was there.”

Click here for the latest Hearts results, fixtures and stats>>>

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306429.1480606390!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306429.1480606390!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Derby County manager Steve McClaren watched on from the main stand last night","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Derby County manager Steve McClaren watched on from the main stand last night","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306429.1480606390!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-yet-to-contact-newcastle-over-ian-cathro-talks-1-4306306","id":"1.4306306","articleHeadline": "Hearts ‘yet to contact Newcastle over Ian Cathro talks’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480603348000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts are yet to make an official approach to Newcastle United for their assistant coach Ian Cathro, according to the Magpies’ manager Rafa Benitez.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306305.1480603277!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Newcastle coach Ian Cathro is the front-runner to succeed Robbie Neilson as Hearts' new head coach. Pic: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

With current Jambos head coach Robbie Neilson poised to join MK Dons in the coming hours, Cathro has emerged as a clear front-runner to be the new boss at Tynecastle.

However, in a press conference this lunchtime, Benitez insisted that no club had been in touch seeking permission to talk to Cathro.

Benitez said: “I don’t need to do publicity for Ian! We do not have an official approach. He is our coach. We are happy with him. We will carry on.”

Asked if Cathro would be the right man for Hearts, Benitez added: “He is a great young coach with some experience and he has a great future.

“I have no idea (if we’ll get an approach). Everyone is talking about the same. It depends on their head coach at the moment.”

Click here for the latest Hearts results, fixtures and stats>>>

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PETER WALES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4306305.1480603277!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4306305.1480603277!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Newcastle coach Ian Cathro is the front-runner to succeed Robbie Neilson as Hearts' new head coach. Pic: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Newcastle coach Ian Cathro is the front-runner to succeed Robbie Neilson as Hearts' new head coach. Pic: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4306305.1480603277!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/fans-backing-can-take-hearts-to-new-heights-neilson-1-4305708","id":"1.4305708","articleHeadline": "Fans’ backing can take Hearts to new heights – Neilson","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480573820000 ,"articleLead": "

Robbie Neilson implored Hearts fans to continue backing their club as he heads off to join MK Dons.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305707.1480548087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson celebrates Hearts 2-0 victory over Rangers at Tynecastle"} ,"articleBody": "

Last night’s 2-0 win over Rangers propelled the Tynecastle club to second in the Ladbrokes Premiership, but Neilson believes they can climb higher with supporters driving them forward.

He urged the public to keep monthly pledges up through Foundation of Hearts and acclaimed owner Ann Budge as the reason for recent success.

The head coach won the Championship and guided the Edinburgh club to a European place in two seasons in charge.

He will now head to Milton Keynes, where he is likely to be announced as manager in the next 48 hours after agreeing personal terms.

Compensation is the only issue to be resolved but should be finalised today.

“The club still has a long way to go and financially the fans still need to back Hearts. They need to get their pledges in through Foundation of Hearts because it’s all for nights like that against Rangers,” Neilson told the Evening News.

“They put their money in to get the club back where they belong. We need to keep reminding ourselves where Hearts were two-and-a-half years ago – in administration. Don’t get carried away. Be patient because the club is still in a building process.

“The fans here are magnificent. It’s a huge club.

“There are always going to be elements here and there but there are no other fans in the world who back their club the way they do.

“They put their hands in their pockets every month to drive the club forward, to build a new stand, to get the club from Championship to second in the league. It’s only going to go higher from here.

“Ann Budge has made the main difference at this club. She’s given us stability and Foundation of Hearts have given us finance.

“It’s nothing to do with me. It’s about the players, the fans and the owner. They drive this club.”

Neilson was reluctant to publicly confirm his exit but added: “It’s still not done yet. I’ll be in tomorrow morning and we’ll take it from there.

“It’s a pleasing night for the players, the fans are happy and the place is rocking. That’s what this place has missed over the last two-and-a-half years with the troubles. Now they’re back to where they should be.

“To be part of this football club has been an honour.

“It’s a fabulous establishment. It’s been great being here and being part of the journey.

“It’s been a fabulous night and the journey is still going here.

“People jump on and jump off but it’s important that journey keeps going. It still has a long way to go.”

Speaking about the win, courtesy of Robbie Muirhead’s first two Hearts goals, Neilson said: “I’m just delighted the players put in a performance like that. My job as a coach is to try and progress the players and they’ve progressed.

“Perry Kitchen dominated the midfield, Jamie Walker, Callum Paterson, Liam Smith comes on, John Souttar wasn’t getting a game elsewhere, Robbie Muirhead. We gave Jack Hamilton an opportunity and he’s kept a clean sheet against Rangers.

“There are going to be ups and downs but it’s about patience and building that team. Hearts are definitely going places.”

Midfielder Don Cowie labelled Neilson one of the best coaches he has worked under. “The manager told us he’d been given permission to speak to MK,” he said.

“When you see the crowd against Rangers, the atmosphere and fans singing his name, it would make you emotional. You’d think: ‘Is it worth leaving?’

“He obviously feels that’s his next move. He’s had a terrific two-and-a-half years here and maybe he feels it’s time to move on.

“I’m coming to the end of my career but I’ve worked under a few managers and he’s up there with the best. His man-management, passion and how he looks after the players is second to none.

“We’ll be disappointed if he leaves but that’s football. It wouldn’t surprise me if he uses this as a stepping stone to bigger things.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4305707.1480548087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305707.1480548087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robbie Neilson celebrates Hearts 2-0 victory over Rangers at Tynecastle","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson celebrates Hearts 2-0 victory over Rangers at Tynecastle","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4305707.1480548087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/a-touch-of-style-plenty-bottle-neilson-s-out-1-4305700","id":"1.4305700","articleHeadline": "‘A touch of style. Plenty bottle. Neilson’s out’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480546595000 ,"articleLead": "

WITH cheers and applause pouring from the Tynecastle stands, Robbie Neilson’s Hearts tenure ended last night with a 2-0 win against Rangers.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305698.1480546523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Muirhead celebrates after putting Hearts ahead"} ,"articleBody": "

No aeroplanes or protests, this was the classy way he wanted to depart with the Edinburgh club climbing to second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Neilson agreed terms with MK Dons on Tuesday evening after talks with chairman Pete Winkelman. He heads to England’s League One with a rousing reception from supporters ringing in his ears – not to mention a thumping performance fresh in his mind.

Just a few months ago – despite Hearts being on the verge of a European place – fans flew a banner above the Gorgie sky during a game against Partick Thistle, which read: “No Style. No Bottle. Neilson Out.” If that was ridiculous and distasteful, this was an entirely fitting send-off with Newcastle United assistant Ian Cathro waiting to take over.

Robbie Muirhead scored both Hearts goals – breaking his duck in maroon – on what was an unforgettable night. It is slightly ironic that strikers have started finding the net just as Neilson departs. Amongst many things, it has been a stick his detractors have used to beat him with this season. However, this was the time to acclaim the job he has done over the past two and a half years.

There wasn’t just admiration for Neilson in the stands. Derby County manager Steve McLaren was in Edinburgh to watch the Hearts full-back Callum Paterson, passed fit after a nasty eye injury sustained on Saturday against Motherwell. He is out of contract in May and hopes to secure a move to England in time for next season.

First there was the opportunity to help his current employers beat Rangers and move second in the Premiership. Former Hearts players Danny Wilson and Jason Holt returned to Tynecastle for the first time and played their part in a predictably frenetic opening period.

After a minute’s silence in honour of those who lost their lives in the Chapecoense disaster and of the former Rangers player Davie Provan, the tackles began flying in from both teams. This game was always going to be competitive and no impending departure of a Hearts manager would change that. If Cathro was watching, he would have taken note.

The first meaningful shot of the evening came from Rangers right-back James Tavernier on 14 minutes. The ball dipped over Jack Hamilton’s crossbar as the Hearts goalkeeper looked on. Referee Craig Thomson ran the game sensibly but had a decision to make on the half-hour mark.

The visiting goalkeeper Wes Foderingham chased a cross ball out left towards the edge of his penalty box. As he reached the white line, he slipped and instinctively put his hand on the ball. Hearts fans and players shouted for handball outside the box but television replays appeared to show the ball was on the line.

On the touchline, Neilson looked focused and motivated. Occasionally he would bark instructions at players and urge them to press the ball in the opposition half. Many thought he would be distracted by an imminent new job but it certainly didn’t seem so as he prowled the technical area.

Paterson began influencing affairs as half-time approached. He was fouled by Matt Crooks and Kenny Miller in quick succession whilst trying to initiate attacks. In between, the defender spun away from Andy Halliday and Miller to dispatch a powerful left-footed shot from 20 yards. Foderingham spilled the ball but Wilson cleared.

Bjorn Johnsen then headed Paterson’s long throw goalwards and forced the goalkeeper to palm over his crossbar. Hearts sensed an opening goal was coming. It arrived on 44 minutes through Muirhead.

First, John Souttar’s through ball was expertly flicked on by Johnsen into Arnaud Djoum’s path. The attentions of Halliday prevented the Cameroonian shooting but, when the ball came back to Johnsen, he clipped a delightful spinning cross towards the six-yard box. Arriving at pace at the back post was Muirhead to send the ball thundering into the net.

Tynecastle erupted, as did Neilson on the track. Yet Hearts might have conceded in the one minute between their goal and the interval. Souttar’s miskick allowed Joe Dodoo to find Harry Forrester, who released a shot on the turn which Hamilton stopped at full stretch.

Rangers continued pursuing an equaliser with intent at the start of the second half. They had the ball in the net on 52 minutes only for a delayed offside flag to leave the visitors and their fans seething.

Miller’s shot from the left was parried by Hamilton but Dodoo collected the rebound and dispatched it into the net. Around 13 seconds later, with Rangers celebrating, the main stand assistant referee David McGeachie raised his flag for offside against Forrester, who was apparently impeding Hamilton’s view.

A quick celebration from Neilson gave way to furious protests from the Rangers manager Mark Warburton and his assistant David Weir. They were even more upset a few minutes later when the hosts doubled their advantage. Paterson’s forward pass released Walker, whose run and cross from the right landed for Muirhead at the back post who had an easy conversion.

It would have been 3-0 had Foderingham not sprung to his left to stop a Muirhead shot. Hearts appealed vehemently for a penalty in the 75th minute when Faycal Rherras tangled with Michael O’Halloran chasing a through pass, but referee Thomson allowed play to continue.

Hearts were content at 2-0, though. They had to survive intense pressure during the final ten minutes. Rherras cleared substitute Joe Garner’s header off the goal line and Garner also sent a shot on the turn wide of target. Four minutes of stoppage-time included a chant of “one Robbie Neilson” and “Neilson give us a wave” from the home support. Eventually, Thomson blew the final whistle to a loud roar.

Hearts defender Igor Rossi revealed a t-shirt with the message, “I belong to Jesus,” after losing a close friend in the Chapecoense crash.

That apart, there was no ceremony at full-time. Just one understated exit. Neilson quietly shook hands with the Rangers management team and slipped up the tunnel in his blue collar, tie, v-neck jumper and jacket, boldly headed for a club 19th in England’s League One. A touch of style. Plenty bottle. Neilson’s out.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4305698.1480546523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305698.1480546523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robbie Muirhead celebrates after putting Hearts ahead","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Muirhead celebrates after putting Hearts ahead","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4305698.1480546523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4305699.1480546527!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305699.1480546527!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson and assistant Stevie Crawford celebrate","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson and assistant Stevie Crawford celebrate","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4305699.1480546527!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-2-rangers-0-muirhead-gives-neilson-winning-send-off-1-4305666","id":"1.4305666","articleHeadline": "Hearts 2, Rangers 0: Muirhead gives Neilson winning send-off","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480542337000 ,"articleLead": "

Robbie Neilson ended his Hearts tenure with an excellent 2-0 victory over Rangers to send the Jambos into second spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305664.1480542268!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Muirhead, right, celebrates his first goal with Hearts team-mate Jamie Walker"} ,"articleBody": "

The 36-year-old head coach – widely expected to take the vacant manager job’s at English League One club MK Dons in the next 24 hours – was given a standing ovation and chants of “there’s only one Robbie Neilson” by a packed Tynecastle crowd at full-time as he waved goodbye after two-and-a-half years in charge of the club.

With highly-regarded Newcastle coach Ian Cathro the front-runner to take over the reins at Hearts, Neilson leaves the club in fine fettle and on a high and it was fitting that a young player he took a chance on in Robbie Muirhead bagged a brace to put Mark Warburton’s men to the sword.

A minute’s silence was impeccably observed ahead of kick-off as respects were paid to the 71 people who died in the early hours of Tuesday morning, including the majority of Brazilian side Chapocoense’s players, after an aeroplane crash in Colombia.

Hearts named the same team that defeated Motherwell at home on league duty last Saturday with a 4-2-3-1 formation, while Rangers’ hero away at Partick Thistle, Joe Dodoo, was given a start up front in attack-minded 4-3-3 formation.

After a frantic but even first 30 minutes, Hearts took hold of the match. Bjorn Johnsen came close on 34 minutes after he flicked on a long throw from Callum Paterson – who was being watched in the Tynecastle stands by Derby manager Steve McClaren – towards goal, but Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham made a fine save by tipping it over the bar. Undeterred, the hosts kept the pressure on and took a deserved lead just before half-time when Johnsen’s clipped ball across goal was slotted home at the far post by Muirhead.

Rangers thought they’d equalised seven minutes into the second half when Dodoo rammed home a rebound after Jack Hamilton could only parry Kenny Miller’s curling effort into the striker’s path. The visiting players, fans and staff celebrated for several seconds before linesman David McGeachie signalled that Harry Forrester was in an offside position and impeding Hamilton’s view as Dodoo shot, with the goal being subsequently disallowed.

It proved a big moment in the match as, on the hour mark, Hearts increased their lead. Paterson sent Jamie Walker free down the right and his low cross found Muirhead unmarked at the back post and he tucked the ball past Foderingham to leave Rangers on the ropes.

Warburton made three attack-minded substitutions in the space of six minutes in response to going 2-0 down, but Hearts kept their foot on the throttle and could have added a third when Johnsen, an impressive figure as he led the Hearts forward line, had his shot parried by Foderingham.

Rangers exerted some late pressure, but the closest they came to getting a goal back was on 90 minutes when Faycal Rherras cleared a Joe Garner effort off his own line.

The victory puts the Jambos ahead of Rangers on goal difference in second spot, with Aberdeen – who have two games in hand on the pair – a further two points behind in fourth place.

Hearts (4-2-3-1): Hamilton; Paterson, Souttar, Rossi, Rherras; Kitchen, Cowie (L Smith 83); Walker, Djoum, Muirhead (Buaben 77); Johnsen (Sammon 90). Subs not used: Noring, Nowak, Watt, Currie.

Rangers (4-3-3): Foderingham; Tavernier, Kiernan, Wilson, Wallace; Crooks (McKay 66), Halliday, Holt; Dodoo (Garner 66), Miller, Forrester (O’Halloran 60). Subs not used: Gilks, Hodson, Senderos, Waghorn.

Referee: C Thomson

Attendance: 16,803

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARK ATKINSON AT TYNECASTLE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4305664.1480542268!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305664.1480542268!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robbie Muirhead, right, celebrates his first goal with Hearts team-mate Jamie Walker","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Muirhead, right, celebrates his first goal with Hearts team-mate Jamie Walker","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4305664.1480542268!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4305665.1480542269!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305665.1480542269!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robbie Neilson enjoys his final match as Hearts head coach","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson enjoys his final match as Hearts head coach","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4305665.1480542269!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/derby-boss-steve-mcclaren-at-tynie-to-watch-hearts-callum-paterson-1-4305570","id":"1.4305570","articleHeadline": "Derby boss Steve McClaren at Tynie to watch Hearts’ Callum Paterson","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480533861000 ,"articleLead": "

Derby County manager Steve McClaren was at Tynecastle watching Callum Paterson tonight as Hearts faced Rangers.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305568.1480534046!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Callum Paterson started for Hearts tonight despite suffering a head injury last weekend"} ,"articleBody": "

The former England boss has monitored the Scotland full-back for several months as he decides whether to make a move in the January transfer window.

Paterson is out of contract at the end of the season and has already made clear his intention to move to England next summer.

Derby are interested in a young, developing right-back, who would cost around £400,000 in a development fee.

Sheffield Wednesday representatives were also in the stand as Hearts faced their Glasgow rivals hoping to climb into second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4305568.1480534046!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305568.1480534046!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Callum Paterson started for Hearts tonight despite suffering a head injury last weekend","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Callum Paterson started for Hearts tonight despite suffering a head injury last weekend","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4305568.1480534046!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4305651.1480538557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4305651.1480538557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Derby County manager Steve McClaren is pondering a move for Paterson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Derby County manager Steve McClaren is pondering a move for Paterson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4305651.1480538557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/robbie-neilson-agrees-terms-to-become-new-mk-dons-boss-1-4304979","id":"1.4304979","articleHeadline": "Robbie Neilson agrees terms to become new MK Dons boss","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480504289461 ,"articleLead": "Robbie Neilson has agreed contract terms to become the new manager of MK Dons.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4304978.1480504560!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson has agreed terms with MK Dons"} ,"articleBody": "

The Hearts head coach will take charge for the final time at Tynecastle tonight against Rangers before being confirmed as the new man at StadiumMK.

The only issue yet to be finalised is compensation between MK Dons and Hearts but that has already been discussed and is not expected to hinder the deal.

Neilson held talks in Milton Keynes yesterday with the Dons chairman Pete Winkelman and is likely to take charge of the League One club for the first time this weekend against Charlton in the FA Cup.

The 36-year-old will hope to revitalise his new club and further his career in England after winning the Scottish Championship and qualifying for Europe in just two and a half years at Hearts.

Stevie Crawford, his assistant at the Edinburgh club, is expected to join him south of the Border.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4304978.1480504560!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4304978.1480504560!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robbie Neilson has agreed terms with MK Dons","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Neilson has agreed terms with MK Dons","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4304978.1480504560!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/igor-rossi-grieves-friend-killed-in-chapecoense-air-crash-1-4304910","id":"1.4304910","articleHeadline": "Igor Rossi grieves friend killed in Chapecoense air crash","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480503343000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts defender Igor Rossi has spoken of his grief after losing a personal friend in the Chapecoense air disaster.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4304909.1480503277!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Igor Rossi is mourning the loss of his friend. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Josimar was one of 71 people killed when a flight carrying Brazilian side Chapecoense crashed in Columbia en route to the Copa Sudamerica Final.

The 30-year-old was a former team-mate of Rossi at Internacional, where both came through the youth system and made their first-team debuts before Rossi moved to Europe.

The two kept in touch despite Rossi plying his trade in Portugal and then Scotland, and he was deeply saddened to hear about his friend’s tragic death.

He said: “It’s hard to accept that Josimar is no longer with us. We had a good relationship at Internacional for five years and while we were not in touch with each other every day, we had remained friends even when my career took me to Europe.

“He was a very good player but more importantly, he was a great man with a strong, happy personality.

“He has two babies. It is incredibly sad and will be so difficult for all the families.

“It’s hard to take it, hard to believe. I’ve spent a lot of time today talking to my father and other members of my family in Brazil.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4304909.1480503277!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4304909.1480503277!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Igor Rossi is mourning the loss of his friend. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Igor Rossi is mourning the loss of his friend. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4304909.1480503277!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}