Hearts job is pull for big names, says interim coach Jon Daly

Hearts opened their Premiership campaign with a 4-1 loss at champions Celtic
Hearts opened their Premiership campaign with a 4-1 loss at champions Celtic

Jon Daly says he is not surprised several household names are interested in the head coach position at Hearts.

Daly was given an interim role following the sacking of Ian Cathro.

Former England boss Steve McClaren is on the shortlist to replace Cathro, with Owen Coyle and Dougie Freedman also interested in the job.

"The size of the club, it doesn't surprise me that there are some experienced managers putting their names in," Daly said.

"I'd imagine that there are managers that already have jobs that would love this job as well."

Former Italy striker Fabrizio Ravanelli has applied for the post, while ex-Hearts players Steven Pressley and Paul Hartley have been linked with the vacancy.

While impressed with the quality of candidates for the job, Daly reiterated his belief that he is well equipped to take on the head coach role permanently.

"I'm not going to sit here and pretend I haven't enjoyed it," he said. "It's been great.

"You're always going to back yourself. I'm quite comfortable working with the players we have. That's one of the characteristics I have - I'm a leader. I was the captain of a big club in Dundee United so I know what it takes to lead a team.

"I just have to focus on what I can do and try and get results in the short-term for the club. Hopefully when whoever gets the job, whether that's me or someone else, the club is in a good place when it happens.

"It's been a great experience for me. It's something that whether it's now or further down the line I'll look forward to doing."

Walker returns for Rugby Park trip

Jamie Walker has been linked with Rangers
Walker has been repeatedly linked with Rangers this summer

Daly says there are "no grudges held" from his public dispute with Brendan Rodgers following Hearts' 4-1 defeat at Celtic Park on the opening day of the Premiership campaign.

He also confirmed that Jamie Walker will return to the squad for the weekend visit to Kilmarnock. Walker, 24, was left out of the squad for the Celtic match, with Daly concerned the attacking midfielder had been distracted by interest from Rangers.

"He's trained well, worked hard and for me that's what he needs to get back to doing," Daly said.

"He's a player that can win you a game of football, he can score goals, he can produce something from nothing and he's a match-winner.

"He'll definitely be back in the squad, whether that's starting or on the bench. He's probably not been fully focused on what he needs to do and I think he's got that focus back now."

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