Dale Tonge sends 'thank you' message to Hearts fans as he leaves Tynecastle

Dale Tonge has said farewell to Hearts.Dale Tonge has said farewell to Hearts.
Dale Tonge has said farewell to Hearts.
Departing coach says he loved his short time in Edinburgh

Departing Hearts coach Dale Tonge has thanked the club and supporters for a memorable five-month stay in Scotland.

The Englishman officially left Tynecastle Park along with former manager Daniel Stendel and his assistant Jorg Sievers on Monday following Robbie Neilson’s appointment.

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In a message posted on social media, Tonge insisted Hearts would have avoided relegation had the Scottish season not be cut short due to coronavirus.

The subsequent vote to end the campaign based on average points per game sent the Edinburgh club down to the Championship, although they have taken legal action hoping to reverse that decision.

Tonge only joined Hearts as first-team coach in January having worked under Stendel at Barnsley. He admitted he is sad to leave, particularly given the commitment shown by fans throughout the relegation battle.

“Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your club, even for a brief stay,” said Tonge.

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“Although it has ended very sudden, I still feel pride in being a part of the club and that given time we would have continued to improve the club from within and ultimately avoided relegation.

“To the fans, I genuinely appreciate all the kind words and messages so far. I loved my short time up in Edinburgh and loved the passion from all connected with the club.

“I’ve not seen such fanatical support to see a club through what has been a very difficult time, also how you created a family feel for such a huge club is great and a credit to you all.

“I wish the new and old staff best of luck for the future and I hope the club gets back to where it belongs, at the top of Scottish football!”

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