Hearts: Craig Levein 'missed being out there' as he agrees three-year deal

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Right moment to take charge - Levein

Craig Levein says he agreed to become Hearts manager for a second time on a three-year contract because he missed being in charge on match days.

The Scottish Premiership club announced on Monday that, after interviewing candidates to succeed Ian Cathro as head coach, they had gone with Levein.

The 52-year-old will continue as director of football.

"I was manager and director of football at Dundee United," Levein said. "I missed being out there."

Under-20s coach Jon Daly had been in interim charge for four games following Cathro's sacking on 1 August and had been in the running to take the job permanently.

Cathro had been questioned constantly about whether Levein intervened in team affairs.

"Now I have responsibility for all the results, not just the defeats," said Levein. "The club needed stability.

Craig Levein

"I was asked and I wanted to do it. There's a moment when it's right and that moment's now.

"Jon Daly did a fantastic job in the interim period. I've no doubt he'll go on to be a successful manager.

"The club itself's in a fairly healthy place. In my role as director of football over the last three years I've been able to build the club back up from where it was to the place where it is just now.

"I think it's in very good shape which means now it's possible to do two things at once."

Hearts sit eighth in the Scottish Premiership and, asked about his targets, Levein said: "Just to win games. I know it's going to be tough.

"We're a little bit light in a couple of areas."

'Nobody quite fits all that criteria except Craig'

Hearts owner Ann Budge confirmed the board had decided that none of the candidates were better suited to the job than Levein, who was previously in charge for four years from 2000.

Daly, who will continue as a first-team coach, was considered for the head coach position and former players Paul Hartley and Steven Pressley were interviewed for the role. Billy Davies, Steve McClaren and Dougie Freedman had ruled themselves out.

"We couldn't find anyone better at this point," she said. "Craig has the qualities we're looking for.

"I'll be asking slightly different questions of him now. It's important to remember Craig continues as a director of the club.

Hearts celebrate
Hearts have won one of their opening four Premiership fixtures

"We interviewed a number of candidates as everybody knows. They were all absolutely first class. We did have a set of selection criteria and after we'd gone through the interview process and the directors were sitting discussing it, we said, 'actually, nobody quite fits all that criteria except Craig'.

"Maybe it is that we couldn't find anybody better at this point in time because Craig had all the qualities we're looking for.

"We talked at length about whether our original plan including the role of director of football and the development of coaches, whether that needed to change. I really don't believe it does need to change.

"We said three years [for Levein's contract]. One of the things I've been giving a lot of thought to is if for whatever reason this did not work out, would I be in the situation where I didn't only need a new manager, I also needed a new director of football?

"It's a serious question and serious consideration - is this the right thing for both Craig and the club? I'm confident it is."

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