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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 March 2006, 10:31 GMT
Romanov wanted Rix sacked earlier
Hearts majority shareholder Romanov
Romanov wanted to sack Rix earlier
Hearts' majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov believes he waited too long to sack Graham Rix.

"I suggested we say goodbye to him as head coach earlier but the guys in the team insisted in letting him stay and I followed their wishes," he said.

"However, I feel I've made a mistake by not acting sooner as we lost 24 points in the league since he took charge.

"I didn't see any signs of the club going forward so we couldn't wait any longer before taking action."

Rix was dismissed after just 19 games in charge, with the club second in the SPL and in the last four of the Scottish Cup.

But Romanov, who has also overseen the dismissals of managers John Robertson and George Burley in the last 10 months, had run out of patience with the former Portsmouth and Oxford boss.

"If we had stuck by him we would have put ourselves in danger of losing our second place position and failing to qualify for the Champions League," he continued.

"The points we lost should have taught us a lesson but nothing changed and the situation became too serious to ignore."

The only opinion that matters is Mr Romanov's opinion
Jim Duffy

Jim Duffy, who was also removed from his director of football role after just a month, feels that Rix has been hard done by.

"Roman said that he felt I came as a team with Graham and I accept that. So we were sacked.

"But my heart goes out to Graham. It's okay for me, I am from Scotland but Graham has got to go back down to England to his family.

"He was starting to re-establish himself as a top class coach up here.

"I accept it but I don't agree with it, I thought they could at least have left it until after the Hibs game (Scottish Cup semi-final).

"Graham worked hard with the players and they respected him.

"But the only opinion that matters is Mr Romanov's opinion."

Interview: Jim Duffy

Ivanauskas promises few changes
22 Mar 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
Rix sacked as Hearts head coach
22 Mar 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
Chick Young's column
22 Mar 06 |  Heart of Midlothian


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