Hearts ‘considering’ surprise appointment of Brentford coach after Robbie Neilson decision

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Hearts are said to be considering one of Brentford’s coaches as they search for a new manager.

One of Brentfod’s coaching staff is a surprise inclusion in Hearts’ shortlist as the Scottish club search for a new manager.

Hearts decided to sack Robbie Neilson over the weekend despite the Edinburgh club currently sitting in fourth place and within two points of Aberdeen in third. As usualy, Celtic and Rangers are not likely to be caught, but after five straight defeats and slipping down to fourth spot, Hearts have decided they will be better served moving on from Neilson.

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The search now begins for a new manager, and a current Brentford coach is being linked with the job. Neil MacFarlane is said to be in the frame, along with the likes of Steven Naismith, Stephen Robinson, Frankie McAvoy and Paul Lambert.

MacFarlane was at Hearts as a player between 2002 and 2006, spending all of his career in Scotland, but his coaching career would take him to England. Initially, MacFarlane spent time at Coventry City as a coach, before moving on to Kidderminster and then Brentford. Since 2019, the former defensive midfielder has been in charge of Brentford’s B side, and he once took a first-team game, overseeing the Bees’ FA Cup win over Middlesbrough in 2021 following Thomas Frank’s positive covid test.

It will be interesting to see whether Hearts now make a move for MacFarlane, or whether they go with a manager who is a little more tried and tested at senior level.

In their initial statement, Hearts said: “Robbie has been a key part of the club’s ascent back to the upper echelons of Scottish football, delivering another Championship title, a third place finish, two Scottish Cup Finals and European group stage football in the process.

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“This was an extremely difficult decision to reach, and we would like to thank Robbie for all of his efforts. A full statement from the Board of Directors will be released in due course. No further comment will be made today.”

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