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BBC Sport's Roddy Forsyth
 real 14k

Hearts chief executive Chris Robinson
"It's a great opportunity for everyone to work together."
 real 14k

New Hearts coach Craig Levein
"I'm delighted with the prospect of testing myself at this level."
 real 56k

Friday, 1 December, 2000, 23:19 GMT
Hearts unveil Levein as new coach
Chris Robinson unveils Craig Levein as head coach
Chris Robinson unveils Craig Levein as head coach
Hearts have announced the appointment of Craig Levein as their new head coach.

Levein, a former favourite with the Tynecastle faithful during his time as a player in the maroon shirt, has signed a two-and-a-half year deal.

Levein arrives from Cowdenbeath, the small Fife club he has steered to the top of the Division Three table.

"I am absolutely thrilled," said Levein. "This is something I have strived for since I had to give up playing.

"I'm delighted with the prospect of being able to test myself at this level.

"I didn't set myself any goals, but it was an aim of mine to get back to Tynecastle."

Stylish defender

16-times capped for Scotland, Levein was a stylish central defender who made 401 appearances for Hearts after a 30,000 move from Cowdenbeath in 1983.

Craig Levein shows his true colours
Craig Levein shows his true colours
He was forced to retire from the game in 1997 after failing to recover from a knee injury.

Jim Jefferies left the Tynecastle position vacant on Nov 9 and has since taken over at Bradford City.

The departure of Jefferies sparked a series of angry demonstrations from the Hearts support, who directed their wrath at the club's board.

"My first target is to unite everyone at the club," continued Levein.

Great relationship

"I had a great relationship with the fans when I was a player here and I am hoping that they will give me the backing as manager that they did then." It is understood that current caretaker Peter Houston has been offered the post of assistant coach, but he has yet to make a decision.

Houston had been linked with the manager's post along with former AIK Stockholm boss Stuart Baxter and Steve Bruce. Levein faces a stern test in his first match in the Tynecastle dugout, when Rangers are the visitors for the Sunday kick off.

"I haven't had time to think about the Rangers game," Levein admited. "Everything has been such a whirlwind."

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See also:

30 Nov 00 |  Heart of Midlothian
Houston interviewed by Hearts
28 Nov 00 |  Heart of Midlothian
Hearts count the cost
26 Nov 00 |  Heart of Midlothian
Pressley backs Houston for post
25 Nov 00 |  Scot Prem
Captain Cameron leads the way
25 Nov 00 |  Heart of Midlothian
Hearts invite Kinnear's interest
18 Nov 00 |  Scot Prem
Celtic hit Hearts for six
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