Hearts boss admits he has been inundated by calls from agents recommending names for his OWN job

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Amid the clamour for him to be relinquished from his position at Hearts, manager Craig Levein can still at least have a laugh at his own expense.

The former Scotland boss revealed yesterday how he had been inundated with agents recommending candidates for his OWN job.

The same people had been unaware that Levein combined his director of football role with taking charge of the team.

CRAIG LEVEIN at a press conferenceAsked about the speculation over his future ahead of tomorrow’s Edinburgh derby clash with Hibs at Easter Road, Levein said: “That’s the world I live in, or the world I choose to live in. 

“It is not as bad as me getting calls from agents directly, asking if someone can have my job.

“That has happened more than a couple of times. They phone me as director of football and that’s been happening for a year or something like that. 

“I think initially they didn’t realise I was the manager as well, although I didn’t play along for long.

“Recently, I think they just feel that if they get in first then they might have a chance.”

Levein, backed by owner Ann Budge, is trying to fend off a supporter revolt.

Irate fans protested outside the main stand in the wake of last weekend’s defeat to Motherwell after a five-game winless start to the Premiership left the Gorgie side, who are also without a league victory in 12 outings, bottom of the table. 

However, unlike how his time at Leicester City ended in 2006, the 54-year-old insists he will know when it is time to call it a day

“This is quite simple,” he added. 

“If I don’t think I can have an influence on these players that helps them win matches then I’m wasting my time and everyone else’s time.

“I felt that at Leicester at the moment I left, I felt the window had closed and I felt I couldn’t do any more with the players.

“I didn’t feel there was a connection, I didn’t feel I could influence the way they played.

“That’s a different thing altogether. That’s not what I feel here.

“I have good connections with the players, my job right now is to help them get over this little mini-hurdle.

“Eventually, results determine everything. You know that. That’s the way it works.”

When pointed out that Hearts were bottom of a league table from results collected since last October, Levein added: “So we’re introducing hypothetical tables?

“From my point of view looking at last season and this season are two different things.

“We have changed players, we have started again. I think we have a better squad than we did last year.

“At this minute in time the league table doesn’t tell you that and I accept that.

“If we hadn’t given away five goals this season we’d be sitting third. That’s a hypothetical table as well.

“So that doesn’t really mean anything.

“All I can do is focus on now, what’s happened in the past is in the past.”

Despite the majority of Hearts fans appearing to be keen for change in the dugout, Levein insists he still has some in his corner.

He added: “People voice their pleasure in different ways. Some choose to stand outside the ground and shout after games.

“Others go home and are just grumpy for the rest of the night. Maybe they write something online.

“But, being out and about in Edinburgh, being at reserve and academy games, I can honestly say I’ve not had a negative comment.

“All I’ve had is people telling me to keep digging in and they’ll support the team.”

And despite the closeness of his working relationship with Budge being questioned, Levein is adamant the majority shareholder is capable of making up her own mind.

He added: “Ann does her own thing and contrary to what people think, I don’t have any influence on that. 

“We talk every day or every second day, depending on circumstances or what has happened on each individual day, just to keep her up to speed. I don’t think there is once in the past five years I have known her when she has had a knee jerk reaction to anything. 

“My big thing now is to show that her faith in me, the players and backroom staff was justified.”

 
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