Hearts Should Target Tommy Wright To Become Their Next Boss

The Heart of Midlothian board decided to act before the start of the Scottish Premie
campaign and have sacked head coach Ian Cathro.

Cathro’s arrival at Tynecastle was equally heralded as it was criticised back in early December 2016. The young coach hadn’t managed a senior side before. I applauded the appointment, I think it’s a real shame it didn’t work-out because I really wanted a talented young Scottish coach to prove his doubters wrong.

In all honesty it was probably the best decision the Hearts hierarchy could have made. The inexperienced boss often looked out of his depth and the club’s showing in this season’s League Cup proved that the players weren’t really fighting for their manager.

I believe the Jambos support deserve more answers from Director of Football Craig Levein. Cathro was his man, the faithful need to know why it all went wrong and assurances that the former Scotland manager can help solve the problems that currently exist at the club.

Levein will have a big say on who comes in next and names such as Austin McPhee, Steven Pressley and Paul Hartley have been mentioned as possible candidates. They kind of fit the profile as they have a Hearts connection and are relatively young.

But I’m wondering if they club need a more experienced hand, someone who can give the players a good kick up the arse and who will not be intimidated by Levein.

Personally I would plump for current St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright.

As Hearts foundered under the inexperienced Cathro, St Johnstone flourished under Wright. The Saints finished in fourth spot, ahead of the Jambos, thus meaning they got the last Europa League spot.

Since June 2013, Wright has recorded a respectable 44% win rate in Scotland’s top flight. They’ve finished in fourth place during each of his three seasons in charge at McDiarmird Park.

In his first full season in charge of the Perth side, Tommy¬†managed to guide them to a famous Scottish Cup triumph. They defeated Dundee United in the final, it was the first time in their 130 year history that they had won Scotland’s main cup competition!

Wright has also recorded two superb results with the Saints in European competition. In his debut season he managed to record a victory over Norwegian cracks Rosenborg and in 2o14-15 he watched as his side knocked-out Swiss cracks FC Luzern.

Under Wright, St Johnstone have also recorded wins over Celtic and Rangers in Glasgow and they collected all three points at Pittodrie against Aberdeen back April.

Hearts have a strong connection with the Northern Ireland national team at the moment and Wright is also a former Northern Ireland international. He could be a manager that gets the best out of summer signing Kyle Lafferty.

If Hearts are intending to keep current assistant boss Austin McPhee, who seems to be well respected by the fans, players and the board then he would learn a great deal from Wright. That would stand McPhee in good stead if he were to become a number one at some stage. The timing isn’t right for him now and it would be foolish (in my opinion) if he were promoted at this stage of his career. A few years under Wright would benefit him greatly.

Wright’s big pluses are consistency and his man management skills. St Johnstone have probably played above expectations since the fifty-one year old took over, but the years of doing that show it’s not luck. The players are well drilled and they have a disciplined shape about them.

The Tynecastle stars looked dejected after their result against Dunfermline on Saturday. They’ve looked shapeless at times and seem to lack the desired hunger. Tommy Wright would look to get them playing with confidence again and have them playing as a unit.

No offence to St Johnstone (of course they’ll be offended) but Hearts are a bigger club and that will appeal to Wright. I think he will want to test himself elsewhere and show that he can improve teams and get a club like Hearts back into the top four and Europe.

One potential issue is Craig Levein’s role at the club. If he stay’s within the remit of a Director of Football, then there’s no reason why he couldn’t work with Wright. But he will need to stay away from the dressing room and leave all the tactics and team selections with the head coach. It’s not hard to work together as long as people stick to their roles and are able to communicate openly with each other!

Levein’s profiling for a head coach thus far has seen him pick young coaches. Maybe that’s because they can be influenced by him. At the moment, I think the whole club could do with a change in approach. An experienced hand can steady the ship and possibly even challenge for a second placed finish.

One more mistake when appointing a new head coach could be enough to see Craig Levein lose his grip on power in Edinburgh. So the time is right to put egos aside and get the right man for the job!


2 Responses to “Hearts Should Target Tommy Wright To Become Their Next Boss”

  1. Totally agree would be the best candidate
    Will Craig’s ego allow this to happen I doubt it

  2. Unfortunately I think you could be right. Levein would find it difficult to allow the HC more control.

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