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Craig Levein says he’s still got work to do as Hearts manager

© SNSHearts manager Craig Levein
Hearts manager Craig Levein

Craig Levein admits it’s highly unusual for him to be both Hearts’ manager and their director of football. The former Scotland boss stepped back in to the dugout two years ago after Ian Cathro was sacked.

A growing number of Hearts fans and former players have been calling for another change with the team sitting bottom of the table going in to today’s derby with Hibernian.

Levein revealed he is considering eventually giving up his manager’s role but won’t do so until the team is performing a lot better.

“My reason for coming back to the manager’s job was to try to get everything calm and moving forward again,” he said.

“I felt at the time we were under a wee bit of pressure and wanted to get the club back on a solid footing.

“I wanted to get us into the top four of the table on a regular basis. And then I would consider what to do after that. But we’ve not managed to do that yet, so I’ve still got some work to do.

“Stepping back after that is a possibility, but not one I’d like to talk too much about right now.

“It’s not a normal situation, of course. The fact that I’m director of football as well is unusual. That doesn’t happen normally, but I’m not uncomfortable with it.”

Doing both jobs seems to present a conflict of interest given Levein isn’t likely to sack himself if the team continues to struggle. But he insists he can keep the two roles separate.

“There are times when I am doing director of football things and times when I am doing managerial things,” he explained.

“They are quite different. On matchdays I am the manager and I deal with those situations.

“For other stuff – signing players, taking in youth matches, meeting parents of prospective academy players – I am a director of football.

“The two don’t really cross over. I feel comfortable with it.

“Over the last couple of years I’ve managed to delegate a little bit and got other people to take on bits and pieces to help me.

“I was a director and the manager at Dundee United so this is the same thing. I managed to cope with that OK.”

Levein admitted Hibs will start today’s derby as favourites. “I don’t think all the pressure is on Hibs for this match,” he added. “We have a part to play.

“They are the home team, which I imagine would make them slight favourites, but the players need to deal with that. And having players who have dealt with similar situations in the past is always a good thing. I relish these games more than others.”