STEVEN PRESSLEY reckons that Hearts couldn’t have found a harder working manager than John McGlynn – and believes that it won’t be long before his example starts to rub off on the Tynecastle players.
Former Jambos defender Steven Pressley, now manager of First Division Falkirk, worked with McGlynn between 1998 and 2006.
In his eight years at Tynecastle, Pressley saw for himself just how hard McGlynn works both on and off the training pitch and he knows that the current squad, along with any players the new man brings in, will have to give 100 per cent if they are to have any chance of being involved with the first team this season.
“The Hearts players can expect honesty,” Pressley said. “They can expect good standards throughout the football club and to be treated with respect.
“He will certainly demand a certain standard from them in return, but there will be real values and principles, and they will be evident throughout the club.
“He will ask for that in return, but I think that players will be more than willing to work hard for him – there is an acceptance of the standards that are required if they see the manager doing the same.”
Not only that, Pressley says that McGlynn’s track record with youth will prove to be invaluable to the Jambos and pointed to the set-up that McGlynn has left behind as a priceless legacy that Raith Rovers will be reaping the rewards from for a long time to come.
McGlynn has worked long and hard on establishing a decent youth policy, and Pressley has no doubt that is one of the first things that he will focus on when he reports to Riccarton next week.
Pressley stressed: “He is not just a manager that works hard on what you see on a Saturday; he works very hard to develop an infrastructure and strategy of the football club. He has worked so hard at Raith Rovers to put in place a youth structure at that club.
“You may not be seeing fruits of that hard work at this present time, but, in the coming years, you will definitely see the benefits. That club now has a good youth system and youth policy in place and they will benefit from that.
“It’s something that he really believes in and he works hard at. I am sure that the same thing will happen at Hearts. He will work hard so that they see the benefit for years to come.”
Pressley was delighted for his old colleague yesterday when Hearts announced that McGlynn was to be successor to Paulo Sergio. And he believes that the 50-year-old could be just the right man coming into the job at just the right time.
He added: “I obviously worked with John for quite a long time when I was with Hearts and we have remained friends ever since.
“I am absolutely delighted for him. He has gone away and worked exceptionally hard and proved himself as a very good manager at Raith Rovers, so he very much deserves his chance to show what he can do in the SPL.
“Everyone knows John’s feelings when it comes to Hearts, but circumstances dictate and timing dictates – for John, over the past five or six years, he has progressively improved Raith Rovers.
“There has been a lot of speculation over past couple of years about him moving on to bigger and better things. It hasn’t come his way up until now, but I think that he is the ideal man for Hearts at this moment in time.”
And Pressley hopes that Hearts’ new manager is given the time to make a real mark on his side.
The former defender warned the Jambos support not to expect too much too quickly from McGlynn, insisting that the new incumbent will be looking instead to benefit the club in the long-term, rather than just a short-term fix.
“With many managers, their only concern is getting result on a Saturday – but John will want to build a footballing club and try to build an empire. He takes a great pride in his work.
“How do you judge a manager? Is the manager judged on league position, or delivering the Scottish Cup? Or is he judged by putting the foundations in place for the club to prosper in the future?
“I think that’s the key thing about John – he will address every aspect. The road that the club are going down right now, they have got a manager in place now who will address every single issue.
“It is hugely important that he is not judged quickly because have to take a long-term view of things. As with any manager going into a club, you can never guarantee what will happen, but there are certainly all the right signs.
“What he has done at Raith Rovers has proved that he is a manager of great potential and he has got a true work ethic that is required to succeed and be a real success.
“He has all the credentials and when you combine that with the attitude that he has then I think that everything looks favourable for him.”
Fans have their say: ‘We’ll give John our full backing’
Laurie Dunsire, Musselburgh: “John McGlynn certainly wasn’t my first choice as Hearts manager but now that he has been given the job, I think that it’s important that we all give him a chance and our full support. He has a good record working with very few resources and, at the same time, developing younger players. Only time will tell whether he is the right man for the job.”
Jonathan Slatter, Edinburgh: “I think that John McGlynn is a very good choice because he knows the players, the set-up and the club. He has also worked with Romanov in the past without any problems arising and they obviously have a good working relationship for Vladimir Romanov to give him this opportunity. I think that it could be an inspired appointment by Romanov and I hope that it works out well.”
Iain McGill, Leith: “I feel that John McGlynn is just the man for the job. All he has to do is finish second in the SPL, win the Cup and avoid defeat against Hibs and the fans will be singing his name in no time! Seriously, though, McGlynn knows the club, he knows our young talent and I am looking forward to seeing them blossom.”
Alan Young, Ross-shire: “While some people may look at John McGlynn as a less than ideal choice, I am glad to see that we are attempting to live within our means – the importance of that has been highlighted by the current situation at Ibrox. I will give John McGlynn my full backing.”
Stephen Murphy, Rosyth: “I welcome John McGlynn with open arms. He knows what Heart of Midlothian FC is all about and alongside a true Jambo and first-class coach in the shape of Gary Locke, I believe that this appointment bodes very well for the future for both Hearts and Scotland.”
John Mitchell, Rosyth: “Everyone knew that we have to start cutting our cloth accordingly and whilst John McGlynn might not be the most fashionable of appointments, he has done a decent enough job on a shoestring budget at Raith Rovers so he has to be given a chance to prove himself. I hope that it proves to be a good appointment for Hearts and I wish him all the best for the future.”
Mark Begg, Fife: “Another Mickey Mouse appointment by the club. I’ll give him six months maximum. We need to prepare for some poor football next season – you only get back what you put in. Yet again, the fans are left to suffer on the back of the Scottish Cup win. Just as things start to improve, we hit the self-destruct button.”
Alan Meikle, Portobello: “John McGlynn is a good appointment. He is not a big name nor a flamboyant character but a sensible choice. He knows the Scottish game, he has a history at Hearts and perhaps some unfinished business as his own man there. Above all else, he works well with young players, which is clearly the direction we need to be going in.”