Former Hearts boss George Burley insists club would be in safe hands with either Steven Pressley or Paul Hartley



Former Hearts manager George Burley insists the Tynecastle club won’t go wrong if they opt for either Steven Pressley or Paul Hartley as the new head coach.

Burley worked with the pair during his short but successful stint in the dugout at the start of the 2005/06 campaign when he led the team to eight wins from the first ten matches before being controversially sacked by then owner Vladimir Romanov.

With the likes of Steve McLaren, Dougie Freedman and Billy Davies no longer under consideration to replace Ian Cathro, former Falkirk and Coventry manager Pressley, ex-Dundee boss Hartley and interim head coach Jon Daly are thought to be the three remaining contenders.

And Burley, who also appointed Pressley as his assistant during his time as Scotland manager, believes the former Hearts players are both outstanding candidates.

He said: “Steven and Paul are top class professionals and played at the highest standard, both are were great to work with.

“They were experienced international players when I arrived and both were great in the dressing room.

“Both of them were strong personalities and have done well in their own right at different clubs as managers so, either or, they would be a great choice to take over Hearts.

“As far as players in the dressing room, they were absolutely top-notch.

“They had the same sort of upbringing as players and they played at the highest level for clubs, they’ve got experience as a manager now too.

“It’s an intriguing one for (director of football) Craig Levein or whoever is picking it because between the two, they’ve got a similar upbringing and are both very able managers in their own right.

“I would have thought the interview would be interesting for both of them because it would be hard to choose between them, especially from their time at Hearts when both of them did so well.”

Burley is also adamant that both Pressley and Hartley have the personality to be successful in the dugout.

In October 2006 and alongside current Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon, the pair were also part of the so-called ‘Riccarton Three’  who revealed that there was ‘significant unrest’ in the dressing room over Romanov’s controversial stewardship.

Burley added: “They are both very strong personalities, they’ve got their own mind and they’ll do it their own way, they were those types of characters in the dressing room – which is a good quality to take on as a manager.

“Of course there were things that they were not happy with at Hearts and they stood up to it.”

Hearts owner Ann Budge has revealed that the club will announce their new head coach next week and even though Daly has impressed during his short stint in interim control, Burley believes the Gorgie outfit should opt for an experienced hand.

He added: “I think it makes sense to go down the experienced route. They (Pressley and Hartley) are the right type of people.

“They have experience of Hearts and Scotland, they have experienced being managers at different clubs and I would definitely think that that’s the right way to go about it.”