Andrew McKinlay wants 'proven winner' as next Hearts manager as he reveals Robbie Neilson successor discussions

Hearts CEO Andrew McKinlay says the club will look to recruit a ‘proven winner’ as the long-term successor to Robbie Neilson.
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The head coach was sacked on Sunday after a dismal run which saw them lose six of their last seven meetings, culminating in the 2-0 home defeat to St Mirren at the weekend, a result that dropped them out of third spot for the first time in 2023.

Steven Naismith has been placed in interim charge and will be tasked with getting the club back into best-of-the-rest finish and the reward of another extended campaign in European football next term.

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The search for a long-term successor to Neilson is now underway, though McKinaly reveals that discussions had already taken place on the matter long before things began turning sour for the Tynecastle club.

Hearts chief executive Andrew McKinlay speaks to the media on Tuesday at Tynecastle Park. Picture: SNSHearts chief executive Andrew McKinlay speaks to the media on Tuesday at Tynecastle Park. Picture: SNS
Hearts chief executive Andrew McKinlay speaks to the media on Tuesday at Tynecastle Park. Picture: SNS

The chief executive and sporting director Joe Savage have often talked about which candidates they would like to take over should Neilson exit the club.

“Myself and the sporting director, constantly through Robbie’s time have discussed a situation of ‘what if Robbie left tomorrow?’” said McKinlay to the broadcast media on Tuesday afternoon.

“The hope was always it would be because he was moving on to something better. But if he went tomorrow, who would we look at? So we’ve always talked about names, some are available some are not.”

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“I want a manager who wins games. We do want youth coming through, we want to play nice football. But I also want a manager who has a proven track record as a winner.”

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