Press­ley: Irvine is per­fect for Hearts job

Evening Times - - SPORT | LAST WORD -

FORMER Hearts skip­per Steven Press­ley be­lieves Alan Irvine is the per­fect fit for the va­cant man­ager’s job at his old club.

Ex-Barns­ley boss Daniel Sten­del is the fron­trun­ner for the post fol­low­ing the sack­ing of Craig Levein four weeks ago.

But Irvine has also been in­ter­viewed for the head coach’s role and has a pow­er­ful backer in Jam­bos striker Steven Nai­smith.

Press­ley, who came close to tak­ing over at Hearts in 2017 but is not in the run­ning this time, spoke with Irvine ear­lier this week and is con­vinced the 61-year-old is the best can­di­date.

Irvine has had spells in charge of Pre­ston North End, Sh­effield Wed­nes­day and West Brom, and has built a rep­u­ta­tion for nur­tur­ing young play­ers dur­ing spells as a youth coach at Black­burn Rovers, New­cas­tle United and Everton.

Press­ley, axed by Carlisle United a fort­night ago, said: “I met with Alan Irvine, which was noth­ing to do with the Hearts job, it’s just that Alan is a sup­port mech­a­nism of the English LMA and af­ter me los­ing my job re­cently we had some great dis­cus­sions.

“But I think he has very much the pro­file that suits the club. He’s an ex­pe­ri­enced coach, one with re­ally good history but one who has history of de­vel­op­ing young play­ers.

“That’s the type of DNA that Hearts are look­ing for.

“He’s been in­ter­viewed, I be­lieve, and he is a real can­di­date. He very much fits the pro­file of what they’re look­ing at for head coach.”

Press­ley has also crossed paths with Sten­del dur­ing his most re­cent post­ing south of the border, with Carlisle de­feat­ing Barns­ley 3-0 in the League Cup at Oak­well back in Au­gust.

He added: “As a man­ager and a per­son, I don’t know enough about him [Sten­del] to make a com­ment. But play­ing them and study­ing them as a team, prior to us play­ing against them, I un­der­stand what he is, and he’s very much a Ger­man coach.

“They played a high, in­tense, pres­sure foot­ball, that’s the kind of foot­ball he cre­ates.

“What I would say is they have to get the right per­son be­cause it’s a big ap­point­ment.

“Hearts in­tend for their man­agers to be in there for a long time, so they have to get the right man.”

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