No Hearts timescale on new boss

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.”