Dougie Freedman: Former Nottingham Forest boss applies for Hearts job

Dougie Freedman
Dougie Freedman was most recently in charge of Nottingham Forest

Dougie Freedman insists Hearts' director of football model would play to his strengths if he is appointed the club's new head coach.

The former Crystal Palace, Bolton and Nottingham Forest boss has applied for the role vacated by Ian Cathro, who was sacked last week.

And Freedman says he would relish working under Craig Levein in Gorgie.

"I'm a coach that likes to work on the grass and their infrastructure actually suits me," Freedman said of the set-up.

Former England manager Steve McClaren and ex-Blackburn Rovers boss Owen Coyle are also interested in succeeding Cathro.

Levein's position as Tynecastle director of football has been in the spotlight in the wake of Cathro's disappointing tenure, with former Hearts goalkeeper Neil Alexander saying his role in the club's struggles has been overlooked.

Craig Levein
Craig Levein has come under-fire after the failed reign of Ian Cathro

But 43-year-old Freedman believes he would flourish alongside the former Scotland manager.

"The influence of Craig Levein would encourage me because although I'm still young, I'm a very experienced coach, and to bounce ideas off Craig would be fantastic," Freedman told BBC Radio Scotland.

"It doesn't bother me at all. I've been brought up with the English game where the sporting director has pretty much been here the last 10 years and getting stronger. I think it's up to the coach to go in from the very beginning and ask, what is the detail he (Levein) is looking for in a coach, what is the role and where does my remit start and stop?"

Freedman, a former Scotland striker who spent his entire senior career south of the border, says Hearts would benefit from his "network of people" in England.

And he says nurturing talented young players, and feeding them into his first-team, is one of his biggest selling points as a coach.

"If they're looking to get some of their younger players into their team - they've got a fantastic under-20 team and produced some players - I believe that's what my profile says," Freedman added.

"I've managed big clubs, developed international players and I think looking at the Hearts job they could do with a few more in their team. They've got experience - bought some in over the summer.

Dougie Freedman
Freedman won two Scotland caps, scoring on his international debut against Latvia

"I can go on and on about how we've got to win, but deep, deep down, where I've been brought up, fans also want to know some of their own are in there, they want to get some of the players from their youth and academies into the team.

"My CV will tell you that - I will put young players in and develop players. I'm not trying to be chairman-friendly here, I'm only trying to tell you the facts.

"I think they've got a very good squad, I think they are playing the correct shape and it suits their personnel right now. Maybe there's been a mix-up between what the players want to do and what the manager wanted to do, but I think I'm experienced and disciplined enough to let them know exactly what we're going to be doing and who calls the shots on the training ground."

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