Hearts legend John Robertson given compassionate leave from his job as Inverness CT manager

John Robertson has been given compassionate leave from his job as Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager.

The 56-year-old suffered a recent family bereavement and will be allowed as much time off as he needs, with the club willing to let him return whenever he feels ready.

First-team coach Barry Wilson and goalkeeping coach Ryan Esson have been placed in temporary charge. Robertson’s assistant, Scott Kellacher, is currently absent through illness.

Inverness are due to host Robertson’s former club Hearts on Friday in the Highlands and hope to bring in an extra coach on a short-term basis.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson.

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Robertson took charge of Inverness’ win against Ayr United on Saturday but players were told this morning that he has been given indefinite leave on compassionate grounds.

Inverness chief executive Scot Gardiner said in a statement: “John has done extraordinary work behind the scenes under the most difficult circumstances, particularly following the serious illness which struck down his assistant manager Scott Kellacher at the turn of the year.

“While Scott continues to make good progress away from the club, John has now suffered a bereavement in the saddest of circumstances. We believe that given those circumstances that it is best he takes some time away from the club to gather his strength. John is our friend and colleague, and he is an exceptional coach.

“The chairman, the board of directors, the players and staff are all looking forward to his return but, in the meantime, all of our thoughts are with him and the rest of his family.”

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Robertson recently devoted much of his time to signing souvenir tickets for fans who donated money through the virtual ticket scheme at the Caledonian Stadium.

Many of those were Hearts supporters who have helped push sales beyond 9,000 ahead of Friday’s fixture.

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