Hearts searching for new players despite managerial vacancy

Hearts interim head coach Jon Daly, left, and assistant Austin MacPhee
Hearts interim head coach Jon Daly, left, and assistant Austin MacPhee
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Hearts remain in the hunt for a right-sided midfielder and a goalkeeper despite not having a manager in place. Interim head coach Jon Daly confirmed today that player recruitment plans are unaffected by the sacking of Ian Cathro.

Director of football Craig Levein and scout John Murray continue to look for players but the role of assistant coach Austin MacPhee remains integral to the signing process. MacPhee was heavily involved in identifying players under Cathro and is continuing to work in the background. Daly explained that, regardless of whether Jamie Walker stays at Tynecastle or is sold, Hearts want to sign a right-sided midfielder and goalkeeper before the transfer window closes at the end of this month.

“I know there was a right midfielder and potentially a goalkeeper. That’s the areas they’re looking to strengthen to add a bit more strength in depth. I think that’s regardless of what happens with Jamie,” Daly told the Evening News.

“If I’m still in charge and if Jamie’s still here, I can see him playing off the front more than the right. My thinking is to play him centrally, although a new manager might see it differently. I think Jamie is much better in the middle area. He can go and express himself there, make an impact in the final third and try to score more goals than last year. Since I’ve stepped into this role, I’ve had agents putting players to me. I’m not really in a position just now where I can say yes or no to certain players. I can obviously pass on the names to Craig, John Murray and Austin. They can then look at what they feel the squad and the club needs.”

Hearts officials have compiled a list of potential candidates to replace Cathro and are now beginning interviews. They will not rush an appointment and will leave Daly in charge for this weekend’s league trip to Kilmarnock.

The Irishman could find himself still there by the time Hearts visit Ibrox to face Rangers a week on Saturday. Any appointment is likely to come after that fixture, barring a swift change in plans.