Hearts 'geared up' for success with new manager in place - Hartley

Hearts fans
Paul Hartley says that, with their fan base and new stadium, all Hearts need is results on the park

Paul Hartley says Hearts are "geared up" for success now the club have appointed Craig Levein as manager.

Former Hearts player Hartley, who left the Dundee manager's job last season, was interviewed for the post of Tynecastle head coach.

But the club installed director of football Levein as boss - his second spell as manager in Gorgie.

"They've got a terrific fan base," said Hartley, who was signed by Levein at Hearts in 2003.

"They're going to have a terrific stadium and they just need to go and win games of football now.

"I do think they've made a good appointment. He knows the club, he's been there before, very successful. I looked at his win per cent record, I think it's something like 43%, [he] took them into Europe.

"Everything's geared up for that club to do well. They've not won enough games of football ever since Robbie Neilson left. Before that, everything was good. Probably the last six-to-eight months, it's not been so good.

Paul Hartley
Former Scotland midfielder Hartley has managed Alloa and Dundee since retiring from playing

"Hearts have gone for a safe pair of hands to see them through this period, maybe the next year or so because they've had a difficult period. Craig's gone on record saying their first nine games are away from Tynecastle which, for me, is a big problem because they've always been strong at home.

"I've worked with him as a manager and he's very good. He's very good on the training ground."

Ian Cathro replaced Neilson in December after the latter had joined MK Dons but, after Hearts finished fifth in the Premiership last term and exited this season's League Cup in the first round, Cathro was sacked.

Under-20s coach Jon Daly took interim charge of the first team and all four of his games in charge were away from Tynecastle, which is being redeveloped and will not host matches until November.

Like Hartley, Daly was considered for the job full-time before the club announced on Monday that Levein, 52, would return to the dugout.

Hartley revealed Levein was part of the interview panel when the club spoke to the 40-year-old.

"I just spoke my mind and what my strengths were," the former midfielder said on BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

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Right moment to take charge - Levein

"I felt I interviewed as well as I could. I felt pretty confident. They've made a decision, I'm not disappointed. These things happen in football when you go in for a job. I wish the club all the best.

"I was grateful to get the interview in the first place because I think I was one of maybe four or five. It's just another bit of experience for me going in in front of another panel, another interview process.

"Craig was the director of football. He still is the director of football/manager but I didn't have a problem working under that structure. The clear thing for me was that I had the final say of picking the team and picking the players. It wasn't going to be an issue."

Levein has signed a three-year contract as manager and former Hearts midfielder Gary Mackay, who played with Levein, believes that timescale will be "massive", with Ann Budge hoping to gradually transfer ownership of the club to fans.

"Hearts will have a transitional period after Ann leaves and that will be of interest as well, but that's a long way down the road," said the 53-year-old, who made over 500 league appearances for the club.

"I'm delighted that we have got such an experienced manager who knows the club inside out. I do feel slightly that he is being given a huge amount of power in relation to any other individual, maybe not just in Scottish football, but in football all over - director of football, board member, a manager.

"Top six [in the Premiership] to start with then building on top six from there would be an achievement because I think the squad just now is pretty light in some areas. Who knows over the next 48 hours if that will change. But top six would be a good achievement, pushing towards top four."

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