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Northern Irishman Stephen Robinson odds on favourite to become next Hearts manager

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson.
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Stephen Robinson is the bookies' odds on favourite to take over as Hearts manager after Craig Levein was sacked.

The Motherwell boss is understood to have admirers in the corridors of power at Tynecastle, who wouldn't be put off by the six-figure sum that would be required for his current club to sanction his departure.

The 44-year-old has been in charge at The Well since March 2017 and in his first full season in charge guided the club to both the League Cup and Scottish Cup finals, beaten 2-0 by Brendan Rodgers' all-conquering Celtic in both.

His two full campaigns have brought seventh and eighth place finishes in the Scottish Premiership and the start to the current campaign promises more, with the Fir Park club in third after 11 matches.

Reacting to his links to Hearts, who sit second-bottom and are above St Mirren only on goal difference, Robinson was remaining coy.

"Listen, I solely concentrate on Motherwell. We have a big game on Saturday and that's my sole focus," he said.

"We are doing well and we have to make sure we stay in that position and we have to be on top of our game to do that."

Asked whether he had long to go on his time at his current club, Robinson replied: "Well, I've got a two-year contract so I hope so, unless the board have changed their minds."

The Lisburn man, who won seven caps during his playing career, managed Oldham Athletic for a six month spell three years ago. He has also taken charge of Northern Ireland U21s and was part of Michael O'Neill's coaching staff when the senior national team qualified for Euro 2016.

Current Northern Ireland coach Austin MacPhee, who was Levein's assistant, will take charge of the Hearts squad in their League Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden on Sunday.

He's ranked as 12/1 to get the job on a permanent basis, with his international boss Michael O'Neill at 14/1. David Moyes is second favourite at 6/1 but Robinson is way out in front at 10/11.

Belfast Telegraph


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