London Hearts Supporters Club

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Keegan rumours discounted with Hearts in no hurry

By Roddy Forsyth
(Filed: 31/10/2005)

Kevin Keegan is not a target for Heart of Midlothian as the Edinburgh club move to fill the manager's position which has been vacant for nine days since George Burley was sacked after a row with the club's principal shareholder, Vladimir Romanov.

Keegan's name was connected with Hearts yesterday and he was in their thoughts during the process that led to Burley's appointment in the summer, but The Daily Telegraph understands that he is not in the running on this occasion.

Hearts fell from the top of the Scottish Premier League for the first time yesterday, following their 2-0 defeat by Hibernian in the Edinburgh derby at Easter Road on Saturday. Celtic edged ahead on goal difference by beating Dundee United at Tannadice. Although some Hearts fans are fretting that the appointment of Burley's successor should be hastened, the club insist that there is no extra pressure.

Sir Bobby Robson remains a front runner though his enthusiasm may be cooled a little by Romanov's insistence - reiterated at the weekend - that "there is no one manager or head coach out there who can be given a free hand to do the job on his own."

Nevertheless, Phil Anderton, the Tynecastle chief executive, said yesterday: "It would be fantastic if someone like Sir Bobby could some and join us at this club. I would hope we would have someone this week but that's all down to negotiation."

Hearts are not alone in the managerial speculation stakes following the weekend's events. Rangers' 1-1 draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle - in which they fell behind to Craig Dargo's first-half strike but equalised through substitute Steven Thompson after the break - followed a similarly disappointing draw against the bottom club, Livingston, in midweek.

Rangers fly out to Slovakia this morning for their Champions League return against Artmedia Bratislava, aware that defeat would jeopardise their chance of remaining in Europe, even in the Uefa Cup.

With a third of the domestic season now gone, Rangers trail Celtic and Hearts by 10 points and Hibs by six, and the alarming calculation which has not escaped the Rangers board is that the £10 million bounty for reaching the group stage of next season's Champions League is increasingly likely to go elsewhere.

Although Alex McLeish remains in charge, Alan Curbishley's name was linked with Rangers in some reports yesterday.

The impression has grown that the Rangers manager is wearying of the endless criticism and pressure which has been his lot this season.

Of the supporters who jeered his team from the field on Saturday, McLeish said: "They're entitled to feel that way. If I was a fan I'd be feeling that way, too."

Taken from

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