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Last Updated: Friday, 2 March 2007, 16:54 GMT
Hearts appoint interim head coach
Anatoly Korobochka
Anatoly Korobochka is now interim head coach
Hearts have announced that sporting director Anatoly Korobochka is filling the role of interim head coach in Valdas Ivanauskas' absence.

The Scottish Premier League club say that Ivanauskas "is away on football business on behalf of the club" as speculation mounts about his future.

Korobochka has been taking training with first-team coach Stevie Frail.

Frail said: "Valdas is away on football duty. I don't know how long that will go on for, but I don't see a problem."

The 52-year-old Korobochka was a midfielder with CSKA Moscow, where he also had a football development role.

He arrived at Tynecastle last summer as sporting director along with Eduard Malofeev, the consultant who himself had an ill-fated six-game spell as interim head coach in October.

That was during Ivanauskas' last, month-long spell away from Hearts for which ill-health was cited as the reason on that occasion.

They just said Valdas will be returning, but I don't know in what role

Hearts first-team coach Stevie Frail

Speculation has mounted that Hearts were about to appoint former Vilnius assistant Kestutis Latoza as their new head coach, with Ivanauskas being moved to a director's role.

And Frail was only able to shed light on what was happening ahead of Monday's Scottish Premier League meeting with Motherwell.

"The situation is that I have been taking training for the last couple of weeks," said Frail.

"I have been in touch with Anatoly, who has been here the whole time, so basically I have been told to get on with organising the team and preparing it for Monday night.

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"Anatoly has been keeping me right with things and he has been feeding that back to Valdas.

"They just said Valdas will be returning, but I don't know in what role.

"I will leave that to the people that make the decisions on that side.

"I don't really see there being a problem, I have been really enjoying taking the training and getting things ready.

"We have spoken to the players and kept them in the loop about what is going on.

"It is not as if it's a new face that has come in.

"They are used to me being here and we have got professionals that have dealt with this in the past when we got into the Champions League and won the Scottish Cup."

Frail also admitted club owner Vladimir Romanov is bound to have a say in team selection.

"We have teams in mind and what we are going to do," he added.

"I have got a team in mind. I know Anatoly is wanting to see it and that will go to Mr Romanov.

"I imagine we will all sit down a pick a team together."

Hearts remain quiet on Ivanauskas
28 Feb 07 |  Heart of Midlothian
Ivanauskas relishes Hearts return
27 Nov 06 |  Heart of Midlothian


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