'It’s a new experience that I’m so involved in transfers' - Daniel Stendel opens up on Hearts recruitment

Manager refusing to put number on how many new players he wants
Daniel Stendel. Pic: SNSDaniel Stendel. Pic: SNS
Daniel Stendel. Pic: SNS

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel is refusing to put a number on how many players he plans to sign this month as he is learning on the job just how hard it is to get deals over the line in January.

The German explained that he has been more hands-on at Tynecastle with regard to player recruitment than he has been at his previous clubs. With Austin MacPhee and Craig Levein edged out to the periphery, Stendel has been heavily involved in negotiations with prospective new signings for the first time in his career.

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While he is enjoying it, he admits it can be frustrating when deals which he was hopeful about subsequently fall through. As a result, he is refusing to state how many new additions there will be at Hearts over the next week and a half.

“I said last week that we are very close but then.... For me it’s a new experience that I’m so involved in transfers like at the moment,” Stendel explained. “I’ve got in that short time that you get a ‘yes’, and then one day later it’s all different! So maybe it’s better if I first say when they sign the contract. This is my experience of the last two weeks. It’s good that we wait until they sign (before talking about it).

“I won’t say we need three or four players, we just need players that can help us. We need the right player - we can (afford to) pay for him and he wants to come. Then we would like that he signs for us. It’s not about numbers in that we need four or five players, but I hope we can sign one or two more.”

Stendel, who has already recruited Kosovo attacker Donis Avdijaj, explained that the process of recruitment was largely left to others at Barnsley. Stendel is enjoying getting an insight into the mechanics behind player transfers.

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“I was not involved at Barnsley as much as I am here,” he said. “On one side it’s been a good experience, especially when we don’t have so much time, being near to the process is good for me. It’s also new for me and we learn every time. I learn on the pitch every time and off the pitch, this is good for me.

“I know more about what’s really happening and what the job is for sporting directors and those inside the club when it comes to signing players or releasing players. It’s always a gamble when you want to release players then you get new players. For me it’s new, but good.”