Hearts announce Steven Naismith as interim manager for rest of season

The former Scotland international will take the reins until the end of the season.

Hearts announce Steven Naismith as interim manager for rest of season SNS Group

Hearts have confirmed that former Scotland international striker Steven Naismith will take over from Robbie Neilson for the rest of the season.

Neilson was sacked following a 3-0 defeat to St Mirren that leaves them fourth in the Premiership with an Edinburgh Derby against Hibs coming up at the weekend.

The Tynecastle club also announced that first team coach Lee McCulloch has left the club.

Naismith, who also played for Hearts for four seasons before retiring in 2021, will take over the manager’s role on an interim basis for the last seven league games.

A statement released by the club on Monday said: “Robbie, along with Lee McCulloch, will forever have our gratitude for those achievements, which is why this was such a tough decision to make.

“However, we simply could not ignore the results and performances. The Board is here to make difficult decisions and act in the best interests of the club, which is what we feel we have done by making this change at this time.

“I am delighted to say that Steven Naismith has agreed to take over as interim manager until the end of the season. Steven has played the game at the highest level possible, and has taken great strides forward in his coaching career with the club’s B Team and at international level with Scotland.

“We enter a crucial period of the season, with two games remaining until the split, followed by a further five matches. With what is at stake, it is no exaggeration to say that we are facing seven cup finals. We had a taste of group stage European football this season and have, in many ways, reaped the benefits. Our aim has always been to repeat this feat and that target has not changed, despite what has transpired recently.

“Our supporters have backed the team in magnificent fashion in huge numbers, home and away, all season. I ask them to continue to do this, to get behind Steven, Gordon, Frankie and the team for the remaining seven games and help us to achieve our goal. By standing together we will give ourselves the best chance of winning football matches, building momentum and reclaiming third spot, and the prizes associated with it.”

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