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Horncastle: Totti thriving at 40

Italian Serie A

Trending: Allardyce reportedly facing exit


Arsenal's Coquelin to miss three weeks

By ESPN Staff

No team interference insists Malofeev

Hearts interim head coach Eduard Malofeev will politely but firmly prevent majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov from picking his team.

The former Belarus boss took temporary charge of the Edinburgh side almost two weeks ago after Valdas Ivanauskas began a fortnight break for health reasons.

Romanov has previously admitted he has interfered in team selections since becoming the Tynecastle majority shareholder.

However, speaking ahead of the trip to play Celtic in the Bank of Scotland Premier League, Malofeev, 64, revealed how he plans to rebuff any meddling by Romanov.

He said: 'I don't know about the influences before, I wasn't here, but what I want to say is that, while I am here as the head coach, I will pick the team.

'It is the head coach who manages the team, Romanov's role is more on the financial side.

'I will take advice from other coaches and medical staff, but I have the last word.

'I am well qualified, experienced and an educated person and I would find the words to say; 'Thank you, Vladimir, but I am the manager and I will pick the team'.

Ivanauskas has admitted he may be away from the club longer than the scheduled two weeks.

However, Malofeev is uncertain as to the Lithuanian's long-term future as head coach at the Tynecastle club.

He said: 'I like the squad and I like working with the team.

'I am working on gathering them together and making them into a unit.

'I am enjoying my job at the moment, but it is a difficult time for such questions.

'I respect Valdas very much and he is like my own child because I have a daughter the same age as him. But we will see what is going to happen.'

Hearts skipper Steven Pressley admits the uncertainty surrounding Ivanauskas and the club needs to end soon.

The Scotland defender led a three-player delegation last week to voice concern about Romanov's running of the club amid 'significant unrest' in the dressing room.

Asked if he thought Ivanauskas would return to Scotland, Pressley said: 'I am unsure. I don't think anything has been made 100% clear so I can't comment on that.

'But something needs to be resolved one way or the other. It needs to be made clear whether or not Valdas will return.'

Pressley was reluctant to back Ivanauskas but is confident unity will return to Tynecastle - when he eventually gets to see Romanov.

He said: 'I don't want to comment on that (whether he wants to see Ivanauskas return).

'I made my statement last week and that's really all I want to say on that matter.

'I have not had a chance to speak to Mr Romanov yet, but, hopefully, in the weeks ahead, I will get the chance to sit down and discuss things.

'We want to move together and move the club forward in the right direction and I believe that will happen.

'There are a number of issues that I made clear the players aren't happy about.

'But they could be quite easily resolved and, when they are resolved, I am sure this club will move forward hand in hand with Mr Romanov.

'People must understand this is not Mr Romanov's sole business interest, he has a number of other things he is involved in.

'He is a very busy man, but I am sure he is very keen to resolve these issues and I am sure, in the weeks ahead, they will be.'