Pressley: Irvine is perfect for Hearts job
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.”