Scottish Premier League

No Hearts timescale on new boss

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Thu, 28 Feb 2013 18:36:00

Brighton boss Gus Poyet admits he is happy to be linked to the job of Chelsea manager.

The 45-year-old Uruguayan, who played for Chelsea from June 1997 to June 2001 and made more than 100 appearances for the club, is around a 7/1 chance to succeed Rafael Benitez when the interim boss departs Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

Poyet, who has guided Brighton into the play-off places in the Championship this term, said: "I want to go to the highest level and if it's the Premier League and it's Chelsea, fantastic.

"That's my aim. Everybody knows. I don't hide it.

"I like the speculation because it means we are doing something right. But it doesn't change my life at the moment."

Benitez has hogged Thursday's headlines following his rant criticising Blues supporters and the club's decision to give him the title of interim manager.

The Blues boss launched an impassioned monologue following the holders' 2-0 FA Cup win at Middlesbrough, which set up a quarter-final tie with Manchester United, and the criticism sparked suggestions his tenure in caretaker charge could come to an end as soon as Thursday.

The comments are unlikely to have gone down well with Abramovich and the Blues board, but Chelsea insisted it was "business as usual" at their Surrey training base, where Benitez took training.

The Spaniard, who has confirmed he will leave Chelsea at the end of season, is expected to be given at least one more match in charge when West Brom visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday and will hold the pre-match media conference as scheduled on Friday afternoon.

"My relationship with the owner is really good," Benitez told BBC's Football Focus. "Every time I talk to Abramovich about football, I enjoy (it).

"I know that he wants to win. I'm here because he wants to win and I will try to do my best until the last day.

"The relationship is fine. I don't have any problem with anyone.

"I have conversations with Michael Emenalo, the technical director, every single day. He watches the training sessions, we talk about football and when I meet Roman Abramovich, we talk about football.

"We talk like normal people. We share a passion for football."

Reports of dressing room unrest, including a dispute with captain John Terry, have been played down and Benitez is adamant there are no major concerns.

"My relationship with the staff, the people at Cobham, is really good, fantastic," Benitez added. "The players are fully behind our ideas, 100%."

The club announced that director of football Collins had quit after the board sacked Evans, who replaced John Hughes as manager in November when the former Hibernian boss left for Hartlepool.

The pair leave Livingston fourth in the Irn-Bru First Division.

A club statement read: "Livingston Football Club announces the departure of first team manager Gareth Evans following a managers' meeting today, where we voiced our concern over the stewardship of the club under Gareth. This despite the results being generally acceptable.

"John Collins, having appointed Gareth to the post despite certain reservations, has regrettably decided to tender his resignation following our decision to relieve Gareth of his duties.

"First team affairs ahead of this Saturday's home fixture against Airdrie United will be handled by current Head of Youth Development, Richie Burke whilst the board consider matters going forward.

"No further comment in relation to this development will be made at this time."

The brand will become the official supplier and licensee of replica merchandise for the club, with the agreement set to start next season.

Rangers chief executive Green said: "Rangers and Puma are massive global brands and this relationship will undoubtedly improve the distribution of club merchandise in the UK and overseas.

"Puma are renowned for their technical innovation and expertise in product design and support systems and we look forward to enjoying a productive and successful partnership over the next five years."

McGlynn parted company with the Edinburgh outfit with immediate effect on Thursday after less than a year in the Tynecastle hotseat.

First-team coach Gary Locke and player development manager Darren Murray will take interim charge of team affairs ahead of the visit of Motherwell at the weekend.

Hearts chiefs have now launched the search for their next manager and Southern says they are determined to ensure they make the right appointment.

He told HeartsTV: "We don't want to categorise anything in terms of who that manager might be, where they might be, whether they'll be with a club or not with a club or what their nationality might be.

"We also don't want to box ourselves in in terms of timescale.

"We are very aware that there are some very important games coming up.

"We're assured by Gary Locke and Darren Murray that we're in safe hands for the immediate future with both those chaps.

"They took the first training session this morning and will carry on taking training sessions through to the Motherwell game and maybe even beyond.

"We will not rush the job of appointing a new manager - it's absolutely crucial we get it right."

He added: "Potential candidates should be fully aware of the scale of the job they're taking on and the size and importance of Heart of Midlothian Football Club to so many people."

McGlynn's departure followed Wednesday's defeat to St Mirren, which saw Hearts slip to second bottom of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

The club's financial problems have been well documented in recent months but Southern believes results on the park should be better despite cut-backs.

He said: "Hearts, I believe, have the second-highest playing salary bill and we should be performing much better than we are.

"For Hearts to be sitting in 11th place, the results don't lie.

"What we have at our disposal are some very talented young players and, indeed, John played his role in bringing those young players through to the first team.

"However, we shouldn't forget there are also senior professionals at this club. They also have a role and responsibility to the club.

"The secret will be to merge and blend those senior players with the young players to establish a successful team and a team with a winning mentality."

McGlynn told Hearts News: "I was very grateful to be given the chance to become the Hearts manager as it was my dream job.

"It was an honour and privilege to serve the club in this capacity and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the players, who have been top professionals.

"It is unfortunate that things didn't turn out the way I wanted them to and I am gutted about that.

"I am a worker and want to get back into football as quickly as possible.

"I don't think I could have done any more, but the league table doesn't lie and I know it is a results-driven business.

"We had a lot of difficult circumstances to deal with and they have taken their toll in the end, but no-one will be more delighted than me if the team can go on and win the League Cup."

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