Gary Mackay: I don’t want anybody to lose their job but I am worried about Hearts’ future

If somebody is not meeting targets, then any football club has to look at an option that is going to improve the situation.

Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 4:55 pm
Hamiltons George Oakley scored a double in Saturdays 2-2 draw at Tynecastle, which leaves Hearts joint-bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership after four matches. Some fans have lost patience with management and are demanding that Craig Levein is sacked. Pic: SNS

Hearts have wonderful facilities, a wonderful infrastructure, a wonderful ambassador in Gary Locke and we are perceived well by others because of what Foundation of Hearts have done. All these things become pointless if the product on the pitch isn’t bringing results.

I thought Saturday would have kickstarted our season. It didn’t. Hamilton could have beaten Hearts, just as Ross County could have. It would have been scary to see the reaction had that happened. The headline which came out of the weekend was: “I can fix it.” Now, if you’re a football man as Craig Levein is, then you look at the squad and naturally think we can do better. For me, it’s how much better. What are the margins of improvement? We need to make sure Tynecastle is a place that the Ross Countys and Hamiltons are fearful of.

Talk of fixing things goes back to the 5-0 loss at Livingston last year. A club like Hearts should not be suffering results like that. We do seem to get oursleves up for the cup games, and credit to the management and players for that, but some of the results we’ve had during this period have been nothing short of embarrassing.

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Gary Locke was removed when this regime came in because the present football department didn’t want him in place. Robbie Neilson was brought in and did well. We then had Ian Cathro, who was a complete failure. At this moment in time, aside from the cup competitions, our league form has been nothing short of abysmal.

No disrespect but there isn’t a football person on the Hearts board, aside from Craig Levein. So the only people who could ask the questions are the ones in those positions. The director of football should ask why the manager isn’t getting more out of the players we have. But they are both the same person. That is an absurd situation.

That’s what happens when you put someone in a position of huge power. I don’t know if any manager in Scottish football history has the power over a football department that Craig Levein has at Hearts. Maybe he will look for an escape strategy and bring somebody else in as manager but we can’t have this just going round and round all the time like a hamster in a wheel.

Ultimately, people are now questioning Ann Budge. The last two managers were appointed by her and Craig but their league results have been well below Hearts’ expectations. I don’t like Craig Levein, however nobody wants to see anybody lose their job, like or dislike the person. I’m not fussy about how good a player Craig was for Hearts or how well he has done for the academy. I’m worried about the long-term future of Heart of Midlothian Football Club - a club supporters have been fighting in various forms to save for the last 15 years.