JON Daly, the interim Hearts head coach, has hit back at Billy Davies who criticised the management structure at Tynecastle which is headed up by director of football Craig Levein.

In a statement released by his representatives this week, the former Nottingham Forest manager said: “I spoke to Hearts, looked at their structure and gave them a clear plan on how to alter it to improve the club. It appears they are not ready to make the internal changes required to achieve greater success. It seems to me they just want to change the figure head.”

Daly launched a passionate defence of the club’s framework, insisting it was what inspired him to hang up his boots and begin his coaching career.

The Irishman said: “Billy’s had an interview and I’m sure he’s had the structure explained to him. He obviously likes working with a different structure, so he’s entitled to his opinion.

“But it’s a structure that, in my opinion, is very good. It’s geared towards helping younger coaches and also younger players come through into the first team.

“The main reason I retired from football was to come into that structure. I would probably have played on for another couple of years if I hadn’t been offered this opportunity. I don’t think I would have taken a coaching role at that stage of my career had it been anywhere else other than Hearts.

“The model of the club was set in place after they’d come through a very difficult period and it’s something that has worked previously. I don’t see why, after a difficult seven or eight months, they should change that.”