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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 14:26 GMT
Hearts unveil Rix as head coach
Graham Rix and Roman Romanov at Tynecastle
Hearts hope to appoint a director of football within two weeks after unveiling Graham Rix as head coach.

And Rix, who has been given a contract until the end of the season, stressed that he will be happy to have someone else buying and selling his players.

"I am picking the team," said the former Portsmouth manager.

"My forte is working with the players, motivating them and hopefully winning matches. Dealing with agents and the press does not really interest me."

Rix acknowledged that his 1999 conviction for unlawful sex with a 15-year-old girl and indecent assault had led to opposition from some elements of Hearts' support.

But, as he was presented to the media for the first time at Tynecastle, he said: "Seven years ago, I made a mistake and, once I realised I had made a mistake, I held my hands up and accepted my punishment.

"It was a tough time for me and my family, but does it mean I have to be punished for the rest of my life?

"I have tried hard to rebuild my life and career and want to work hard on building a relationship with Hearts fans.

"But I saw on Saturday against Dundee United that Hearts have a fantastic support and, if I am winning games, I think they will get behind me."

Rix had not been first choice, majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov having made approaches to more high-profile figures like Sir Bobby Robson, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Claudio Ranieri.

We have a coach who has the respect of those he played with and those he has coached
Hearts chairman Roman Romanov

Former Chelsea coach Rix was, meanwhile, about to be offered the vacant manager's job at English Conference side Crawley Town having been axed from his previous posts with Portsmouth and Oxford United.

"The fact that I went for an interview at Crawley shows that I was determined to get back into football at any level," said the 48-year-old.

"When I got the call from Roman, I thought it was one of my friends, Jim Duffy, winding me up.

"It's a massive job but one I am looking forward to.

"I am not going to say that we are going to win the league as saying such things can come back to haunt you, but it is not often that you get the chance to take over at a club who are already top of the league."

Previous Hearts manager George Burley had left last month having led them to the top of the Scottish Premier League but complaining of interference in team affairs from the Romanovs.

Asked if he expected a similar scenario, Rix said: "Interference, no. But I will take advice from anyone before making my own team selections.

"I don't know who the new director of football is. I have said to Roman who I think will be a good choice, but Mr Romanov is the man with the money."

Roman Romanov said: "We are looking for someone with experience, who understands football and who can spot a good player.

"We are still looking, but in a week or two will make a decision."

He insisted that Rix did not have to win the league to extend his stay at Tynecastle beyond the end of the season but that the team simply had to show signs of improvement.

"We have a coach who is experienced and who has the respect of those he played with and those he has coached," he added.

"I can understand the feelings of some Hearts fans.

"But, in Russia, we have a saying that a man that's beaten by life is worth two that are unbeaten: which means that someone who has made a mistake is capable of becoming a better man."

Interview: New Hearts boss Graham Rix

News conference: Hearts unveil new coach Graham Rix


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