Paulo Sergio: I want to be next Hearts manager
Paulo Sergio wants to return to Hearts to replace sacked head coach Ian Cathro and has already submitted his CV to owner Ann Budge.
The Portuguese believes he can do an even better job this time after masterminding the 5-1 Scottish Cup final triumph against Hibs during his last spell in Edinburgh in 2012.
Sergio, 49, is out of work and is eager to succeed Cathro, who was sacked on Tuesday morning. He spoke exclusively to the Evening News to reveal he has already applied for the job.
“My CV has arrived to Mrs Ann Budge. This is the way things should be done. I show my interest in the job, I put my CV there and now I wait,” he said.
“I am still in contact with some people from my time there. They are not on the Hearts board, now but I still have good friends in Edinburgh. They would love me to go back and I would love to go back.
“I want to go back there and do a better job. We won the cup when I was there, but it is easy to forget all the problems we had. The wages not being paid and the money and everything.
“Now, those problems are not there. The club is completely different so that makes our desire to go back even stronger.
“We have to wait. People have to make decisions. Whatever the decision is, I will be supporting Hearts. If I am not the one chosen, I will be supporting whoever gets the job and I will wish him well because I want the best for Hearts.”
Sergio insisted he would have no problem working under the Tynecastle club’s director of football, Craig Levein.
“A manager chooses his team, he doesn’t choose the directors,” he said. “Craig Levein is a man of football, I don’t see a problem with that. I would be delighted if they give me that job.
“I would love to take this job now. I don’t have to hide that desire. I don’t know if they will choose me. Even if they don’t, I will be following and supporting Hearts for the rest of my life. It’s in my blood, it’s in my veins.
“For now, I will wait. If the invitation comes, I will be delighted. Hearts have the best supporters in the world, this board is making the club grow, there is a new stand being built and there are better facilities.
“Of course, the big power of Hearts are these fantastic fans. They have already sold almost 14,000 season tickets so I have a very good feeling about Hearts.”
Sergio remains an iconic figure amongst Hearts fans following the 2011/12 season. He believes the club are now in a much stronger position despite just eight wins in eight months under Cathro.
“Ian Cathro didn’t get good results and everybody can see that. I wish him all the best. I’m sure he will learn from his first experience as manager and he will be back stronger.
“I’m a Hearts fan so I always follow what happens there. Of course, it’s a difficult moment right now but I’m sure they will find a solution to have a fantastic season.
“At the end of the day, they have signed some good players. I believe there is material there to do good work at Hearts, to play good football and to get results.
“Hearts is much more than a football club. I will be supporting them for the rest of my life. It’s in my blood after I lived there.”
Jon Daly, Austin MacPhee and Liam Fox will be in temporary charge of Hearts against Celtic this weekend as the club seek an experienced replacement for Cathro.
Assistant coach MacPhee has told Tynecastle officials he wants to stay. He will help youth coaches Daly and Fox prepare the team for a hostile start to the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign in Glasgow.
Budge is ready to rethink how her club recruits managers following the failed Cathro experiment. There is a desire at boardroom level for a more experienced figure to take charge.