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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 February 2006, 18:24 GMT
Players to wait for Romanov talks
Graham Rix and Vladimir Romanov
Romanov (right) is apparently picking the team for Rix (left)
The Hearts squad has agreed to wait until after this weekend's game against Aberdeen before having a meeting with the club owner Vladimir Romanov.

Captain Steven Pressley said: "It makes sense that we focus totally on this very important game.

"We are happy to wait until after this fixture before we meet with Vladimir."

The players want to discuss Romanov's apparent control over team selection. having taken over the duty from head coach Graham Rix.

Players have expressed their support for Rix after telling BBC Sport that Romanov picked the team for the 1-1 draw with Dundee United on Tuesday.

Pressley said after talks with team-mates on Wednesday: "We have come to a unanimous decision that we will be seeking talks with Mr Romanov."

Hearts then released a statement saying Romanov was happy to grant their wishes.

Romanov financed the signing of 11 new players during January as second-placed Hearts chase Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic.

But there is unrest within the 35-man first-team pool after six changes were made for the trip to Tannadice.

"I was surprised by the team as I think that, for any successful side, there has to be continuity of selection," Pressley said after the game.

"Time and time again, we have played a settled side and got results.

"We certainly hope that Graham remains as our manager and I hope he doesn't walk away."

Rix would not be drawn on claims that he told players that Romanov was now picking the team but did say he was not going to resign.

"I have worked really hard since coming up and the performances we've had show what a together group we are," he said.

"It is a great job and a great club and I have had worse moments in my life."

But, when appearing on BBC Radio Four's Today programme, Romanov's spokesman Charlie Mann would not say Rix was in complete control of the team.

He said: "There are discussions between the two and that is as much as I know."

When asked if Romanov picked was in charge of team selection, Mann said: "Graham is the first-team coach and Graham is the man who should make any statements about who picks the football team.

"Mr Romanov has a regular debate with Graham Rix on team issues after matches and that's the key point, it's after matches."

The agent for Scotland defender Andy Webster had earlier told BBC Sport that he had ended negotiations about a new contract.

Webster, whose contract runs until next summer, was one of those dropped for Tuesday's game.

Prior to Tuesday's match, a player told BBC Sport that Rix had told his squad: "Romanov is pulling the strings, picking the team, including the substitutes, and has total control."

Another player claimed that Rix told him: "Mr Romanov is picking the team."

Former Portsmouth manager Rix had insisted "I am picking the team" when he was unveiled at Tynecastle on 8 November.

He had been brought in to replace George Burley, who left the club amid reports of meddling from Romanov.

News conference: Hearts boss Graham Rix


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