Gary Mackay: Win at Ibrox and Jon Daly becomes a contender

Jon Daly has impressed while in charge of Hearts
Jon Daly has impressed while in charge of Hearts
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Saturday’s win over Kilmarnock was a much-needed result for everyone connected with Hearts and showed the value of getting the basics right.

It wasn’t the prettiest performance we’ve ever produced, but no-one will care a jot about that. Regular easy-on-the-eye football is possible if you have the resources of a club like Celtic, but for a club like Hearts, getting victories ­– no matter how they are achieved – is the be all and end all.

It’s all well and good trying to play an expansive 3-4-3 formation but you need players of a certain calibre, tactical awareness and consistency to play that way, and those are generally outwith our price range. I’m pleased to see that we appear to have realised this and have gone back to a more pragmatic approach, which centres around giving us the best chance possible to get a result.

I think Jon Daly is more of an old-fashioned individual in terms of the way he played the game and also the way he has carried himself since becoming Hearts’ interim head coach. I’ve been very impressed with him so far. I’ve made no secret of the fact I’d prefer us to return to a traditional experienced manager who runs the whole football side but, if the club decide to stick with their policy of promoting a young head coach and Daly is able to lead us to another positive result at against Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday, then I wouldn’t be averse to him being the chosen candidate. One thing Jon has ahead of outside candidates is a proper understanding of what the club are trying to do under the current structure. He is a strong character who was one of the leaders of a successful Dundee United team in his playing days. I think he has a grasp of what Hearts supporters want from their team, which primarily is a side that is hard to beat, fights for the jersey and has a desire to win at all costs.

It wouldn’t be the most popular appointment we’d ever make considering some of the more illustrious names being bandied about but, allied to what I’ve seen from him so far, if Jon were to make it two wins out of three tough away games on Saturday – which shouldn’t be beyond us – I would be willing to put my faith in him and back him going forward.