Motherwell's Stephen Robinson is the leading candidate to be Hearts' new manager

Nothern Irishman on radar after Craig Levein is sacked

By Barry Anderson
Thursday, 31st October 2019, 5:15 pm
Updated Friday, 1st November 2019, 10:52 am
Stephen Robinson is a contender for the Hearts manager's job

The Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson is the early front-runner to replace Craig Levein at Hearts. The Northern Irishman has a number of admirers among the Tynecastle Park hierarchy after impressive work in Lanarkshire.

He signed a new contract with Motherwell in the summer which runs until 2022. Hearts would not be put off by the low six-figure release clause included in that agreement should they decide to make an official approach.

They will consider other candidates, with the likes of John Robertson at Inverness Caledonian Thistle still highly regarded by those in charge in Gorgie. However, the appointment of Levein's successor is certain not to be a quick one as club owner Ann Budge looks at all options.

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Levein was sacked as manager after a miserable run of form including just one league win this season. He will also vacate his director of football role but will continue to work in the background at Riccarton until the end of the season.

The Hearts assistant coach Austin MacPhee has been named interim manager ahead of Sunday's Betfred Cup semi-final with Rangers.

Robinson has guided Motherwell to third in the Ladbrokes Premiership despite a budget significantly lower than that available at Hearts. He took the Fir Park club to both domestic cup finals in season 2017/18.