London Hearts Supporters Club

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John Robertson <-auth None auth-> Charlie Richmond
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You've made a huge mistake

ANATOLY BYSHOVETS today insisted Hearts have made a big mistake in ditching John Robertson as manager - and claimed he has no intention of replacing the Gorgie legend at Tynecastle.

The vastly-experienced Ukrainian had originally been earmarked by new owner Vladimir Romanov as the man to front his Gorgie revolution but that won’t happen after Byshovets parted company with the Baltic banker a month ago.

"I respect John Robertson as a man and as a coach," he said. "Even if I was offered the chance to come in as head coach now, I couldn’t do it. I’d consider it unethical, and would mean I’d helped remove John. He deserves a chance."

Byshovets worked with Romanov as a consultant on football matters but said: "I’m no longer working with Romanov. It was an amicable parting of ways. He did offer me the chance of a more permanent role, but it wasn’t for me. I’ve taken a bit of time out as I had to go into hospital for a minor operation. But I’ll be looking to explore other opportunities soon. I’ve a few offers in Russia, but I am still very keen to work abroad."

The former coach of Russia infuriated Hearts players when he ordered them to tone down their celebrations after their famous UEFA Cup win in Basel in November.

At the time he insisted he was not a "spoilsport" and was just being professional in getting the players to turn their focus on the next match, a league game against Rangers at Ibrox just three days later.

"I’ve always considered myself to be a gentleman," he added.

"Even if I was offered the job of head coach at Hearts now I would not take it."

Byshovets admitted he wasn’t surprised to see Robertson get the same treatment as Valdas Ivanauskas , the head coach of Romanov’s Lithuanian club, Kaunas, who was sacked last week. "I don’t know what happened there - Ivanauskas is a good coach. But then so is Robertson.

"Who will be the coach of Hearts next season? Only Romanov knows."

The search for Robbo’s successor began today with chairman George Foulkes insisting money would not be an object if they could unearth the right person.

The club is to cast its net across the globe as they look to restructure the coaching side of things and Foulkes revealed the club will pay the going rate for a top coach. Praising Robertson for his efforts during his six months at the helm, the chairman said: "Given all the circumstances I think John did a creditable job.

"The Lithuanians have a lot of respect for him and did not have any personal criticism of him. It was maybe the fact that they felt he was not experienced enough to take us to the top level.

"We will begin the search for a new head coach today and we will have a new structure in place for the start of next season.

"We don’t have anyone in mind at the moment but Vladmir Romanov has great ambitions and is prepared to put his money where his mouth is. If the right person is available for us then we will pay for them."

Although no timescale has been set for having the new man in charge, the club would like to see him installed to take pre-season training.

Robertson, meanwhile, insisted he had no regrets over taking over the reins at the club he served with such distinction as a player.

"I would never have any regrets about joining Heart of Midlothian. Everybody knows what the job meant to me," he said.

"It was a fantastic opportunity to come here and one I have enjoyed."

Chief executive Phil Anderton was due to meet Robbo’s assistant Donald Park today to discuss his situation with Hearts hosting Celtic on Sunday.

Taken from the Scotsman

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