New Hearts boss Daniel Stendel has revealed that a feeling of trust and warmth from the club helped sell him on a move to Edinburgh and he now intends to build a courageous, successful side at Tynecastle.
The former Hanover and Barnsley boss was a surprise successor to Craig Levein but Hearts chairman Ann Budge said that the manager’s passion marked him as the standout candidate. Stendel says he felt an instant connection the first time he walked through the door.
“Our first talks were positive and after that the feeling of trust I got here was more important than money and other things,” he said.
“I felt the club wanted me, my personality and my ideas of how to play football.
“There is a nice stadium and really good supporters. The reaction after I signed on social media was so positive and I hope I can bring the success back to Hearts.”
The German will take charge of the team for the first time this weekend against St Johnstone and with four more games to come in December, he’ll be aiming to change the style of the team to improve current form.
“We need to change the game on the pitch,” he said. “I cannot say we’ll win the next three games but we can show more confidence, play more in front so that you can see this is the Hearts style.
“We want to excite the fans so that they say, ‘Ok that was a nice game, next week we’ll come back’.
“We want to win more games and when we win more than we lose, we’ll step up the table.”
Stendel will also assess his squad as he looks ahead to the January transfer market and the opportunity to bring in players to boost the team. But the manager, who hopes to add Christopher Stern to his coaching team, says he’ll take his time to get to know the talent he already has in his squad before making any decisions about transfers.
“I have watched the last three games to get my first impressions of the players and the team,” he said. “I know we have some important players injured at the moment.
“I have my impression of what is a good player for my system, my style, and I watched every player in the team – plus we have some players on loan – so I hope by January I will have a good view of all our squad and then we will see which are the best players for our team.”
“It is really important for me to get to know the players better. The main thing for me is that we change the feeling on the pitch.
“We need more confidence and the biggest thing for me is we get a team that plays with courage. We want to play with heart.”
The new manager’s arrival has not been without controversy as Barnsley claimed that they were due compensation over the man they replaced in October.
Budge said that she was confident that Hearts had done nothing wrong and no money was due, while admitting that the issue had held up the recruitment process.
“I was as frustrated as everybody else that the process was taking some time,” she said.
“We wanted to do it properly but we’ve got here and I’m sure it was worth the wait.
“Daniel’s track record impressed but, almost more importantly, his passion came across very, very clearly. As well as that, we decided we wanted to try something a little bit different and all of these things made us believe Daniel was the right person.”
Budge said that Austin MacPhee, who had been acting as caretaker manager, would assits Stendel as he settles in but would have a role in recruitment in the future.