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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 11:35 GMT
Rix sacked as Hearts head coach
Rix won nine of the 19 games he took charge of
Rix won nine of the 19 games he took charge of at Hearts
Hearts have sacked their head coach Graham Rix, the club has confirmed.

Coach Valdas Ivanauskas has been appointed as his interim replacement, with John McGlynn assisting him.

Rix only took the position in November, following the sacking of the previous head coach, George Burley, after only a few months in the job.

Chairman Roman Romanov told Hearts' website: "We have been disappointed with the team's performance. Results were not what they should have been."

Rix's role had already been undermined when it emerged that owner Vladimir Romanov had picked the team for a game against Dundee United in January.

Hearts signed 11 players during the January transfer window and, although many of them were understood to have been chosen by Romanov, Hearts' owner was also unhappy with some of those.

"We also felt that some of the signings made in January were not appropriate for Hearts," said son Roman.

"In addition, the events which occurred in February when Hearts played Dundee United, including the way in which some information appeared in the public domain, were disappointing to us.

"I'd like to thank Graham Rix for all his hard work at Hearts. He gave 100%, but ultimately it did not work out.

"Vladimir Romanov and the club's management felt that something had to be done quickly. We owed it to the fans."

Director of football Jim Duffy has also been relieved of his duties, having been appointed to the role just a month ago.

Captain Steven Pressley said the players were disappointed, but not shocked, by the news.

"Roman spoke to the squad this morning and explained that Vladimir Romanov hadn't been entirely happy with results and felt that change was required," he said.

Without Vladimir Romanov we wouldn't be anywhere
Hearts Supporters Trust chairman Derek Watson

"We are exceptionally disappointed that Graham has left, but I wouldn't say we were surprised.

"We had a feeling that it would happen at some time, but we certainly didn't think it would be as soon as it was.

"There was a feeling that maybe the manager was under genuine pressure, but we thought we would have the opportunity to try to save his job between now and the end of the season by achieving Scottish Cup success and Champions League football.

"Unfortunately, we've not had that opportunity."

Hearts are currently second in the SPL, 14 points behind Celtic. Their 1-1 draw at home to Rangers on Sunday kept them six points clear of Alex McLeish's side in the battle for the second Champions League spot.

Pressley refused to criticise Romanov for sacking his second head coach of the season.

"Vladimir is the man who makes decisions at this football club and as players we have to accept them," he added.

"Look at the positives that Mr Romanov has brought to the club, the interest he has created in Hearts and the finances he brought which saved us from moving from Tynecastle.

"He has also brought players in of great quality and at this moment in time we sit between the Old Firm in the league and this hasn't been achieved in probably over 10 years.

"The manager's post is still a fantastic job. We have a tremendous support, we could have the opportunity to play Champions League football and the finances are there so there are a lot of positives that come with the job."

Hearts Supporters Trust chairman Derek Watson said: "Graham Rix was on a short-term contract so I'm surprised rather than shocked at the news.

"We are used to big stories at this club now.

"I don't think the fans will welcome this, but the majority will accept it because Mr Romanov runs the club, owns 81% of the shares and, without him, we wouldn't be anywhere."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Former Hearts director of football Jim Duffy


Interview: Hearts captain Stephen Pressley



SEE ALSO
Ivanauskas promises few changes
22 Mar 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
Chick Young's column
22 Mar 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
Rix aiming for extended contract
20 Feb 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
Duffy claims Hearts in good hands
14 Feb 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
Duffy handed Hearts director role
13 Feb 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
Romanov row resolved, say Hearts
11 Feb 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
Rix 'will pick team on Saturday'
10 Feb 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
Hearts add seven more new players
01 Feb 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
SFA yet to ratify Rix appointment
20 Dec 05 |  Heart of Midlothian
Rix not feeling any extra strain
17 Dec 05 |  Heart of Midlothian
Hearts unveil Rix as head coach
08 Nov 05 |  Heart of Midlothian


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