Former Hearts defender admits dugout uncertainty is a ‘mess’

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Former Hearts defender Alan McLaren insists his old club are in a ‘mess’ and believes the apparent lack of progress regarding Daniel Stendel suggests he is not interested in the dugout vacancy.

Club owner Ann Budge is yet to make a new managerial appointment despite sacking Craig Levein over a month ago.

Hearts, who are one of three sides locked on 11 points at the Premiership basement ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Livingston, are also looking to fill the newly created role of sporting director.

Pic: Sky Sports

Assistant boss Austin MacPhee has been in interim control for the last four games, the last two of which have seen Hearts lose by an aggregate score of 8-0 to Kilmarnock and Rangers.

And former Scotland and Rangers defender McLaren, who played for Hearts for seven years until 1994, insists the managerial uncertainty is a major cause of concern.

McLaren said: “I’m surprised how long it has taken.

“They obviously made a decision that Craig was going to be relieved of his duties and at that point a plan should have been place.

“Obviously Austin has stepped up and it’s not worked out for him so far.

“A three and five-nil defeat, and if this is his audition then, no (he’s not a viable candidate for the job).That’s it.

“The manager’s role, or first team coach, has to be addressed but by all accounts you have to do the sporting director first and everyone has sort of forgotten about that. 

“It is in a bit of a mess at this present moment in time.”

Former Barnsley and Hannover 96 manager Stendel is reportedly Budge’s preferred candidate for the job but the lack of movement in appointing the German has left McLaren wondering whether he is a suitable choice.

McLaren, speaking to Sky Sports, added: “Stendel seems to be the favourite but he’s taking his time. 

“Is he waiting for another job to come? Which means he’s not really interested. It’s tough times for Ann.

“It’s December 1 and festive season and that means every manager is under pressure. 

“I’m sure there will be managers being sacked pretty soon and will Hearts bide their time until a viable one gets emptied?”

 
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