A busy week for Hearts got potentially busier when the club announced on Monday evening that English League One club MK Dons have made an official approach to the Tynecastle club about acquiring the services of Robbie Neilson as their manager.
Hearts made the briefest of announcements on the official club website which said Neilson was aware of the approach but remained fully focused on Hearts vital Ladbrokes Premiership game with Rangers at Tynecastle on Wednesday evening.
MK Dons stated they respected that Hearts had an important fixture on Wednesday and, therefore, no further comment would be made until after that match.
Neilson experienced English football as a player when he spent two years at Leicester City, having signed for The Foxes when Craig Levein – now Hearts Director of Football – was manager there.
The irony is that some Hearts supporters have expressed doubts about Neilson’s ability to turn Hearts into a side challenging for honours. The Maroons have had a stop-start season with an early exit from the Europa League at the hands of Maltese minnows Birkirkara, an early elimination from the Betfred League Cup after throwing away a 2-1 lead to lose 3-2 at St Johnstone and a succession of drawn games in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Hearts biggest disappointment of 2016 was losing to rivals Hibernian in the William Hill Scottish Cup, surrendering a 2-0 lead at Tynecastle before losing the replay at Easter Road.
A further announcement is expected by the end of this week.
In other news, Hearts have been drawn away to Ladbrokes Championship side Raith Rovers in the fourth round of this season’s William Hill Scottish Cup. Rovers are, of course, managed by former Hearts player and manager Gary Locke and include former Hearts players Jason Thomson, Kevin McHattie and Gorgie icon Rudi Skacel in their squad.
The tie is due to be played at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy on the weekend of 21/22 January 2017. Ticket details will be announced in due course.