Jon Daly rules himself out of running for Hearts job

Jon Daly is happy with Hearts' Under-20s. Pic: SNS
Jon Daly is happy with Hearts' Under-20s. Pic: SNS
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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.

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.