Heart of Midlothian have been hunting for a new manager since thew club decided to part company with Ian Cathro following a disastrous showing in the group stages of the Scottish League Cup. In all honesty, Cathro's initial appointment was something of a surprise following Robbie Neilson's departure although he was unable to build on the excellent work done by his predecessor and the Jambos' failure to finish in the top-three in the 2016/17 Premiership was a huge disappointment.
Cathro headed into the new season under a large amount of pressure and following the Scottish League Cup disaster - Hearts finishing third in the final group table behind Peterhead and winners Dunfermline Athletic - he was finally shown the door.
“The board wishes it to be known that this was a very difficult decision, reluctantly made, as every member of the board recognises that Ian is an extremely talented young coach with a very bright future ahead of him,” read a statement official club website. “We thank Ian for all of his efforts and wish him well in the future.”
The early frontrunner to take charge was Steven Pressley, however the former Hearts defender has drifted somewhat in the past couple of weeks and whilst he is certainly not out of the running, at odds of 8/1 he is without doubt a rank outsider and sits alongside former boss Craig Levein at the same odds.
Replacing Pressley at the top of the betting is Paul Hartley, the former Dundee boss out of work since leaving Dens Park towards the end of last season. The 40-year-old helped lift Hearts to the Scottish Cup as a player and he is certainly interested in the vacant position, maintaining that he isn't concerned about working underneath a director of football.
“I loved my time there [as a player],” Hartley said to BBC Scotland. “They’ve got a brilliant fanbase, they’ve got brilliant people that work at the club, they’re putting a new stand in. If Hearts were willing to speak to me then of course I would because of the affinity I have with the club.
“For me whoever gets that job you can always work with people above you, or a director of football, or whatever you want to call it. I don’t see that being a problem.”
Next Hearts Manager - BetVictor Odds
4/1 - Paul Hartley
8/1 - Craig Levein
8/1 - Steven Pressley
16/1 - Peter Houston
25/1 - Alex McLeish
25/1 - Allan Johnson