Former Everton and Rangers star named favourite to land Scottish Premiership role

A former Everton forward has been named the favourite to land his first full-time senior managerial role.
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Everton icon Steven Naismith is now in pole position to become the next permanent manager of Heart of Midlothian, according to recent bookmakers updates. He has been named the strong favourite to come into the role full-time, having taken over as interim manager in April.

Chris Wilder is also an option to potentially take over the position, and the likes of Stephen Bradley, Frankie McAvoy, and Stephen Robinson have also had their names thrown into the ring.

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Naismith retired from professional football back in 2021 after three seasons with Hearts and a promotion back into the Scottish Premiership. He moved into a player development manager role with the club straight after and joined the coaching staff for the Scotland national team as well.

In 2022, Naismith became manager of the Hearts B side, before being named interim manager of the first team last month following the dismissal of Robbie Neilson. Since the ex-Toffee took the reins, Hearts have tallied two wins, two draws and two losses, and they are unbeaten in their last three fixtures.

Their best result under Naismith so far was a thumping 6-1 win over Ross County, which saw Lawrence Shankland net a hat-trick. The 27-year-old is well in the running to finish the season as the highest goalscorer, having scored 24 goals for the Edinburgh side. Shankland trails only to Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi, who is out in front with 25 goals.

If Naismith becomes the next manager of Hearts, this will be his first full-time position as a head coach, which will surely also bode well for him in his role with Scotland.

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The 36-year-old started his playing career with Kilmarnock before moving to Rangers and then to Everton. He spent four years at Goodison Park before joining Norwich and then Hearts.

Addressing his future and the prospect of landing the full-time role with Hearts he said earlier this week: “Have I had any discussion with the board? None at all. And realistically this week there’s no time.

“We may as well wait until after the season. After Saturday that’s it done and the players get some rest or go away for internationals and that’s the right time to have the conversation.”

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