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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 18:59 GMT
Hearts confirm Rix as new coach
Graham Rix
Hearts have confirmed that former Portsmouth manager Graham Rix will be unveiled as their new first-team coach at a news conference on Tuesday.

Rix said: "I saw them win on Saturday and I'm very excited to be working with them. It's a massive chance and I'm grateful for the opportunity."

He also confirmed that he will be coach working below a yet-to-be-named director of football.

Chairman Roman Romanov said: "We feel he has the energy and ambition."

Romanov and Rix were speaking to BBC Sport at Hearts' Riccarton training complex, where the 48-year-old former Chelsea coach was introduced to first-team players before many departed on international duty.

Hearts majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov turned to Rix following approaches to Sir Bobby Robson, Claudio Ranieri and Ottmar Hitzfeld.

The former Arsenal midfielder, previously coach at Chelsea and manager at Fratton Park, was at Oxford United until March.
Graham was - and is - the most successful English coach at Chelsea
Jim Duffy

Rix, who was capped 17 times by England, played for Dundee in the mid 1990s.

He also helped out briefly at Dens Park last year as he completed his FA coaching certificates.

Then Dundee manager Jim Duffy, who worked under Rix at Chelsea and Portsmouth, has been linked with a role at Hearts should Rix be confirmed in post.

Duffy has refused to comment on that possibility but pointed out that Rix had won the FA Cup, the European Cup Winners' Cup, a Charity Shield and the League Cup while he was first-team coach at Stamford Bridge.

Former Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins also backed Rix to succeed and told BBC Sport: "I have no idea what Graham's brief will be and if there will be someone coming over the top of him or what.

"But if that is the case and Graham has taken on board what Mr Romanov has said then he is obviously delighted to be taking the job."

Former England, Newcastle, Porto and Barcelona manager Robson has remained interested in taking over at Tynecastle.

But the 72-year-old admitted at the weekend that last week's surprise departure by chief executive Phil Anderton and chairman George Foulkes had reduced his chances.

Robson hinted that Romanov and son Roman, now interim chief executive and chairman, might prefer "a less experienced manager who would work with the players hand-picked by the owner".

George Burley left the club last month due to "irreconcilable differences" with Romanov but with Hearts leading and unbeaten in the Scottish Premier League.

The Edinburgh club promised to replace him with someone with a "top-class European pedigree".

Rix will be a surprise appointment and the prospect has already met with some opposition from Hearts supporters.

The Englishman, overlooked for the manager's position at Partick Thistle in 2003, is viewed as controversial because of a 12-month jail sentence in 1999 for having unlawful sex with a 15-year-old girl.

He lasted just over a year in charge of Portsmouth, who at that time were struggling in England's old First Division, and was also ousted at Oxford after a poor run of results.

Burley and Anderton both parted company with Hearts shortly after Romanov secured a deal to become majority shareholder, with Foulkes leaving in protest at the chief executive's sacking.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Graham Rix


Report: Rix arrival questioned by Hearts fans



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