Pressley and Romanov hoping to settle selection controversy

The Scotland international defender met with his team-mates yesterday following their 1-1 draw at Dundee United on Tuesday, when the match was overshadowed by allegations that Romanov had taken over first-team affairs from head coach Graham Rix.

Pressley, 32, had earlier said Rix had the players' full support and wanted him to stay. He emerged from the players' meeting to demand talks with Romanov.

Hearts released a statement yesterday afternoon confirming that Romanov will meet Pressley. "Mr Romanov is currently out of the country on business and is expected to return to Edinburgh in time for this Saturday's SPL match against Aberdeen," it said.

Tuesday's starting line-up featured six changes from the previous game.

Andy Webster, a mainstay this season who has called off contract extension talks with Romanov, was among those not to feature. Central to the players' concerns is that Rix told them he was no longer picking the team or substitutes.

Rix has declined to say in public whether Romanov is now picking the team. "I can't comment on that," he said. "I'll have a meeting with Mr Romanov sometime this week and we'll discuss things."

Romanov's spokesman, Charlie Mann, was yesterday unable to provide any firm assurances that Rix has complete control over first-team selection.

Rix insists he will not walk away from the club. "No chance," he said. "I am not a quitter. I have worked really hard since coming up to Scotland and the performances we've had show what a together group we are."

The former England international and Chelsea assistant manager added: "It is a great job and a great club and I have had worse moments in my life. I have been happy with the support big time. I have got to say a massive thank you to the 4,000 fans that were at Tannadice."

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