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.”