'The preferred option' - Ex-Hearts captain on interview for Tynecastle job and who he feels should be the next manager

The ex-Hearts captain rues not getting the chance to manage the club

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 11:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 11:43 am
Steven Pressley has had his say on who should be the next Hearts boss. Picture: SNS

Ex-Hearts captain Steven Pressley has revealed that he was likely the “preferred option” to replace Ian Cathro as Tynecastle boss in August 2017.

The 46-year-old, who has recently been sacked by Carlisle United, interviewed for the job two years ago as the club sought a replacement for Cathro ahead of the 2017/2018 Scottish Premiership season.

Speaking to BBC Sportsound on Monday evening, he expressed his belief that he was Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge’s “preferred option”.

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Alan Irvine has been backed by Steven Pressley. Picture: Getty

The club would eventually appoint the then director of football Craig Levein as the manger.

He said: “I met the board, along with Craig, and felt the interview went exceptionally well. I felt there was a really good connection. I felt my style of management, what I stand for and beliefs in management, were very much suited to the club.

“I was very hopeful of getting the job at that time. And the feedback was that I was probably Ann’s preferred option at that moment in time but it wasn’t to happen and Craig took the job. Unfortunately for myself I didn’t get that opportunity.

“The one thing I must stress is that Craig did phone me up on the back of taking the job and did have the courage to explain the decision.”

When asked if he was in the running for the job this time around, Pressley responded “not at all”.

With Daniel Stendel the overwhelming favourite to replace Levein, Pressley backed Alan Irvine to become the new Hearts boss.

The ex-West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday manager is one of the candidates the club have spoken to.

“The most important thing is not the time but that they get the right man, and I think he has to fit the profile of the club,” he said.

“I met Alan Irvine (on Monday) – nothing to do with the Hearts job by the way. He’s very much the type of profile that suits the club; an experienced coach, one with really good history, one who has history of developing young players because I think that is the type of DNA that Hearts are looking for.

“It’s not the urgency but it’s trying to get the right person.”