'We are trying to do the best for the club' - Daniel Stendel opens up on decision to axe Hearts captain Christophe Berra

Long-serving skipper was told to find a new club and train with the Jambos' reserve team

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 9:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 9:27 am
Daniel Stendel has spoken about his decision to axe Christophe Berra

Hearts boss Daniel Stendel has defended his decision to axe club captain Christophe Berra as he insisted: "We are trying to do the best for the club."

Veteran defender Berra was left "hurt and angry" by the German telling him to find a new club and train with the Capital club's reserves - just days after tying the knot.

But Stendel maintains the call was made for the right reasons as he looks to turn Hearts' fortunes around, with the club five points adrift at the foot of the Scottish Premiership.

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• READ MORE - Aidan Keena: Craig Levein told me my Hearts career was over - I could never get a hold of Daniel StendelThe former Scotland international was reportedly offered to fellow strugglers St Johnstone as a makeweight in a potential deal for winger Matty Kennedy, who now looks likely to join Aberdeen.

Stendel told Hearts TV: "I got some impressions from my first games, and I can only go on what I have seen in training, and in games.

"I know some players have been big players for this club and have a lot of experience and a lot of heart for this club.

• READ MORE - Daniel Stendel reveals Hearts are 'very close' to new signings"We are trying to find all the right solutions. It's not easy to keep everyone happy because in every situation there are two sides. But we are trying to do the best for the club and we respect all the players who have played for Hearts, especially our skipper."

Berra has made 215 appearances for Hearts over two spells, scoring ten goals. But the 34-year-old appears to have played his last game in maroon, having been told he is surplus to requirements by new manager Stendel.

The former Barnsley head coach continued: “Christophe has given his best for this club, not only over the past two and a half years but also before, and he is a really good player.

• READ MORE - Hearts boss Daniel Stendel handed huge boost as key trio return to first-team training“But we talked about the situation and we tried to find a good way for him and for us and especially for this club and, hopefully, we will find the best way.”

Berra is one of six players to have either left the club or been told they're free to leave. Aidan Keena has already departed and signed an 18-month deal with Vanarama National League side Hartlepool United, while veteran Republic of Ireland midfielder Glenn Whelan left by mutual consent earlier this month.

Winger Jake Mulraney is expected to join MLS side Atlanta United while attacker Craig Wighton and goalkeeper Colin Doyle have also been told they have no future at Tynecastle.