Freedman new favourite for Hearts job after McClaren withdrawal

Dougie Freedman
Dougie Freedman
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Dougie Freedman is the new bookmakers’ favourite for the Hearts job after Steve McClaren pulled out of the race for the vacant manager’s role at Tynecastle.

Former England manager McClaren had been the frontrunner for the role for the best part of a week after expressing interest in replacing sacked Ian Cathro as head coach, but the 56-year-old is set to join Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel as a consultant.

Ex-Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Bolton boss Freedman, who declared his interest publicly two weeks ago, is now the 2/1 favourite with Ladbrokes. He said in a newspaper interview on Sunday, August 6 when asked about the Hearts job: “Whatever the manager profile is Hearts are looking for, I’d like the opportunity to sit down and speak to them.

“I have a good pedigree having managed big clubs in England and I’ve worked with some top players.

“I’m all about developing local youngsters for the first team. I think that’s vital, especially at a club like Hearts. And in the past I’ve helped produce international players at the likes of Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest.

“I’ve bought players for very little money who have then been sold on for a healthy profit. Hopefully that’s the kind of manager Hearts are looking for.”

Steven Pressley is next in the betting at 3/1, with Paul Hartley at 4/1. Both men – who are former Hearts captains – have been spoken to by the club’s directors in regard to the role.

Current Hearts director of football Craig Levein is 8/1, with interim head coach Jon Daly at 10/1 and current Falkirk manager Peter Houston at 12/1.

Odds to be the next manager of Hearts (Ladbrokes): Dougie Freedman 2/1; Steven Pressley 3/1; Paul Hartley 4/1; Craig Levein 8/1; Jon Daly 10/1; Peter Houston 12/1; Billy Davies 14/1; Michael O’Neill 16/1.