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MacPhee sees players 'guilt' over Levein's Tynecastle exit

The Hearts coach revealed his shock at the sacking of the club's manager.

Hearts coach Austin MacPhee has revealed that he was shocked to see Craig Levein removed from his position at Tynecastle and says the players feel guilt over the outcome.

Levein lost his job as manager and director of football after a run that saw Hearts win just once in 11 league games.

Defeat to St Johnstone on Wednesday was the final straw and the manager was removed ahead of this weekend's League Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden.

Asked for his reaction, MacPhee said: "Shock, to be honest.

"The timing of it, even in the media people saw the semi-final as a crucial game if we hadn't won in midweek."

The coach has been placed in interim charge and will lead from the dugout at Hampden. He said that the squad were aware that their performances were part of the reason for the change and that they now needed to give some positivity to the fans.

"I think in any situation like this the first thing the players feel is guilt," he said. "All of us do.

"It's the byproduct of everybody in the organisation not performing at the levels they should be.

"That was articulated this morning and, for the supporters, we now need to turn that into something positive and make sure the team put in a performance that shows what the players who are available are capable of.""

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