HEARTS owner Ann Budge will have to go into overdrive this week to get a replacement for Craig Levein, who was sacked on Thursday.

Austin MacPhee was in charge in the dismal 3-0 flop in the Betfred League Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden yesterday.

It was a shambolic performance from the Tynecastle side and Steven Gerrard’s men could have doubled the scoreline, at least.

A second-half double from Alfredo Morelos fired the Ibrox men into a Final meeting against Celtic at the national stadium on Sunday, December 8.

Two goals either side of half-time from Filip Helander and Morelos were reward for relentless first-half pressure. The Colombian striker added a third to complete their opponents’ despair on an afternoon they will want to forget.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT…Ryan Kent takes on Hearts double-act Aaron Hickey and Sean Clare.

MacPhee, speaking to Sky Sports, said: “It was disappointing. We knew everything had to go our way if we were to get a result, but to lose Glenn Whelan so early – a very important player for us – and then we lost the goal just before half-time.

“Rangers dominated first-half possession, but we hoped we could get in and regroup and we planned to add Jamie Walker and Steven Naismith to the team later on as they’re returning from injury, as well as having Uche Ikpeazu strong at the end of the game, but I had to introduce him early.

“We lost a goal and also Michael Smith and it was a terrible time to lose a goal, as well as two key players lost through injury.”

Owner Budge, who watched without a flicker of of emotion in the Hampden executive box, must now focus on finding a new manager as a matter of urgency with Hearts only off the bottom of the Premiership due to goal difference.



About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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