London Hearts Supporters Club

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John Robertson <-auth Roddy Forsyth auth-> Iain Brines
4 of 019 ----- L SPL H

Hearts move quickly to reassure Robertson

By Roddy Forsyth
(Filed: 30/04/2005)

The possibility of a change of manager at Tynecastle was once again aired yesterday as Heart of Midlothian revealed the impact of regime change, with losses slashed by 60 per cent and turnover up by more than £1 million.

The figures are for the six months to Jan 31, a period which took in Hearts' run in the UEFA Cup - under the new group format - and the club's net debt has been reduced by £456,000 to just over £19 million.

However, the Hearts chairman, George Foulkes, was once again asked to comment on reports that John Robertson's tenure as head coach will end this season. "I wouldn't believe everything you read in the newspapers," said Foulkes.

"John Robertson is the coach of Heart of Midlothian. I believe he's doing a good job and there are no plans to change that."

Nevertheless, the Daily Telegraph understands that Hearts have considered a Dutch candidate as a possible coach or manager. It may be that Robertson will be offered the chance to stay on at Tynecastle, but not in full charge of football matters after a season in which the team have reached the semi-finals of the two domestic cups but have slipped off the pace in the chase for a place in next season's UEFA Cup.

"I think that, when you take on a job as big as Hearts, there will always be speculation. A lot of the stories are unfounded," said Robertson yesterday as he prepared his side for today's meeting with Motherwell at Tynecastle. Hearts must hope that the two clubs ahead of them in the chase for the UEFA Cup berth, Hibernian and Aberdeen, shed points in their games against Celtic and Rangers respectively.

Hearts will be without Jamie McAllister - who could be out for the rest of the season because of a knee injury that may require an operation - as well as Kevin McKenna, Marius Kizys and Christophe Berra, but their casualty list is eclipsed by Motherwell's roster of injured players, which includes Steven Hammell, Scott McDonald, Gerry Britton, Kenny Wright, Phil O'Donnell and Kevin McBride.

In the meantime, Hearts also confirmed that if Celtic should win the Scottish Premier League title at Tynecastle on May 15 there will be no trophy presentation after the game. "The over-riding thing for us is safety, and I think it is the only logical decision to make in this situation,'' said a spokesman. "The decision was taken not just because it is Celtic. The same would apply to any visiting team".

Martin O'Neill, the Celtic manager, retorted by saying that neither he nor his players had thought about the matter. "Let me be perfectly clear about this, there is no one at this football clubs talking about championships. It wouldn't bother me if we never had a moment's celebration,'' said O'Neill, whose players can go eight points clear of Rangers if they beat Hibs at home today.

Taken from

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