Hearts 'would not be staring relegation in face had they appointed McCann or Pressley'

Former striker Elliot feels Jambos need someone who knows league

By Moira Gordon
Saturday, 11th April 2020, 7:30 am
Neil McCann.
Neil McCann.

Hearts would not be staring relegation in the face if they had appointed Steven Pressley or Neil McCann as Craig Levein’s managerial replacement, according to one ex-player.

Former striker Calum Elliot, who is now manager of East of Scotland side Tynecastle FC, said that the Gorgie club needed to bring in someone who knew the players and the league and claims that his former captain or the ex-Hearts winger would have had wherewithal to salvage “a catastrophic season”.“It has been a terrible season,” he says, surprised by the paltry points return when he looks at a squad he maintains looks good on paper.

Hearts appointed Daniel Stendel to turn things around but the German has won just two league games since arriving in December and hearts remain four points adrift at the foot of the Premiership.

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“I think they should have got Elvis or Neil in, even if it was just until the end of the season," said Elliot. "Either of them would have been perfect and the club would not have been in the position they are in right now. No chance!

“I don’t even think it is necessarily all about the players. It is about making sure they get the right information and taking the excuses away from them. I think there have been too many excuses from the players they have had this season, especially since January. They needed someone who knew how teams played, knew the players; instead it took three, four, even five weeks and by that time too many points had been dropped.

“To an extent they only have themselves to blame for the position they are in. Players have been played out of position, and there were people who could have done that job and got the points and would have made sure they were never in this position. There was too much experimenting going on with tactics or players and you can’t do that in the position they were in; they needed points and victories.

“The manager has corrected some things recently in terms of them not being as gung-ho or pressing for pressing sake and leaving centre-halves exposed. But it took too long to realise it doesn’t always have to be pretty.”