Romanov factor turns Röber against Hearts

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The Independent Football

Jürgen Röber has turned down the chance to become manager at Hearts after hinting he feared interference from Tynecastle owner Vladimir Romanov.

The 54-year-old German, who took Hertha Berlin from the Bundesliga's Second Division into the Champions League, met Romanov in Lithuania on Friday. But Röber explained yesterday why he has become the third coach after Motherwell's Mark McGhee and the Slovakian Vladimir Weiss, to knock back the chance to move to Edinburgh.

"We had a really interesting meeting and I was impressed with Mr Romanov," the former Stuttgart, Partizan Belgrade and Borussia Dortmund coach said. "He has some good ideas for the club.

"But the trouble was I have my opinions on how to coach and he has his ideas. Unfortunately these ideas would not come together.

"He has different ideas on how to move a club forward. He is a businessman and I understand why he wants what he wants. But I have been 35 years in professional football.

"Don't get me wrong, I am not saying anything bad about Mr Romanov and as I said, I was impressed by him. But I had this feeling that we couldn't come together."

Elsewhere in Scotland, the Rangers manager Walter Smith has urged Ibrox fans to give the club's new signing Kenny Miller a chance in his second stint at the Glasgow club.

Miller, who played under Dick Advocaat at Rangers in 2000-01, also had a spell at rivals Celtic before he returned to Rangers from Derby earlier this month.

Before the 28-year-old signed a three-year contract at Ibrox for a fee thought to be around £1.9m, a representative of the Rangers Supporters Trust claimed that the Scotland striker would be a "deeply unpopular" signing. However, Smith is hoping the Light Blues fans reserve judgement on Miller.

The Ibrox manager said yesterday: "In terms of the reaction generated by Kenny's arrival, I would ask everybody not to make judgements on previous situations and his previous time at Rangers.

"He is a far more experienced player now, and at the stage in his career where he will be able to use the experience he has.

"If he does that, I am sure he will be a big benefit to us, and if the supporters see that is the case, I am sure they will get over their misgivings. I hope that is the case anyway."

Smith was adamant that Miller's time at Celtic Park is irrelevant.

"From my point of view that aspect doesn't come in to it," he said. "I would hope those days are over now. What was important to me was that Kenny was a terrific team player, who could help us improve.

"We needed a bit better movement from the front players and he can supply that because he is a very willing runner."