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Robbie Neilson replaces Gary Locke as Hearts manager

Hearts sack manager Gary Locke and replace him with Robbie Neilson following multiple changes behind the scenes at the club.

Hearts have sacked manager Gary Locke and replaced him with Robbie Neilson following multiple changes behind the scenes at the club.

Former boss Craig Levein has returned to Tynecastle Stadium in the role of director of football.

Locke, who arrived at Hearts in February 2013, leaves the club following their recent relegation from the Scottish Premiership.

Neilson, 33, takes charge of the first team after spending 10 years as a player at Hearts from 1999 to 2009. He retired from football last year.

"We know it may be an unpopular decision with some of you, but the board has decided that we cannot offer Gary Locke a new contract as manager at the end of his current contract," read an official statement from new chairwoman Ann Budge.

"Please believe me when I say this has been an enormously difficult decision to make. We all know the pressures that Gary and his assistant, Billy Brown, have worked under over the last year. They were set an almost impossible task, which they handled with dignity and determination."

Hearts's final match of the Scottish Premiership season was a 1-1 draw with St Mirren on Saturday.

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A general view of Tynecastle Stadium, home to Heart of Midlothian on September 2, 2012
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