DAVID McGLYNN revealed today that his uncle John used to have no qualms about leaving him out of his Musselburgh Athletic side – so he doesn’t expect the Hearts manager to demand anything less than 100 per cent from his new squad.
The former Raith Rovers boss replaced Paulo Sergio in the Tynecastle hotseat on Tuesday and will begin work with the Hearts players next week when they return for pre-season training.
His nephew knows better than most what kind of standards the 50-year-old will ask of his Jambos, but reckons that he will more than earn the respect of his new charges when they see the level of dedication and commitment that he has to the job himself.
David, currently the manager of Musselburgh, said: “John is determined and very hard working. Those are probably the two most obvious qualities that he has. He’s a really dedicated person and has put in lot of time and effort to make his career work, getting all of his badges and UEFA licences.
“He was just 27 when he retired from football to go into the coaching side of things and he’s done really well since then. We are all very proud of him.
“I played under him for a while and the detail that goes in to his work is just unbelievable. Anyone who has been involved with him will tell you that.”
Laughing at the suggestion that he might have benefited from favouritism from his relative, he continued: “There was no chance of that – in fact, I think I got picked on by him because of it!
“He hardly picked me at juvenile, but then when I turned 17 I signed professional forms with Falkirk. When I told my uncle John he just laughed and said that he had been purposely resting me so that I was ready for the big time!”
With Rangers heading out of the top flight for the first time in their history, David McGlynn reckons that his uncle has just taken on one of the most high-profile positions in the country.
But he is confident that he can make the most of the opportunity: “I think it’s fair to say that the Hearts job is the second biggest job in Scottish football right now with what has been happening with Rangers.
“They’re the Scottish Cup holders, they’re looking to improve on their league position from last season and everyone around them is going to be cutting back.
“They will want to let the club run without having to put too much money into it and they have got the makings of a really good squad with the likes of Andy Webster, Marius Zaliukas and Andrew Driver.
“John will get the best out of them. I know that he will be there from the crack of dawn; he is just so dedicated to the job that it’s unbelievable. There’s probably not a harder working manager in Scotland right now.
“He’s one of these guys who, if there is a game somewhere in Scotland and it benefits his team, he will be there.”
McGlynn has had to work on a tight budget over the past few seasons with Raith Rovers and his nephew believes that can only stand him in good stead for what is to come with Hearts and Scottish football in general.
Rangers’ well-publicised battle to stay afloat, along with cost-cutting measures at clubs up and down the country, mean that the majority of managers will have to work with tightened purse strings, but David believes that McGlynn senior will relish the challenge that presents.
In fact, he believes that it is the ability to unearth undiscovered talent which attracted Hearts to him in the first place, adding: “You have got to better yourself. John did a fantastic job in Kirkcaldy and he managed to achieve an awful lot, considering the money he had to spend.
“The majority of clubs being forced to reduce their budgets as a result of the current financial climate – everyone is cutting back. Vladimir Romanov has already come out to say that he won’t be investing in the team, but they have got a good youth policy and that is something John will look forward to developing.
“He has always worked well with the younger players. He has coached the under-13s right through to the under-19s and then gone on to work with the first team.
“He will already know what is available to him at Hearts because he has taken four or five of their younger players to Raith to give them games.
“I think that is the key here: the people at Hearts have looked and seen what kind of budget he has had to work with and how well he has done with it.
“He had something like £200,000 cut off his budget, but got a few gems and managed to keep them in the league when people maybe would not have expected him to be able to achieve that.
“He was punching miles above his weight getting the best out of players and that is something he will be able to do with Hearts, too.”