Hearts manager Craig Levein will be given time to turn things around at Tynecastle, according to former defender David Weir.

The club currently sit bottom of the Premiership after a winless start to the season with last weekend’s Motherwell defeat sparking fan protests calling for the dismissal of the beleaguered boss.

But Weir, who spent three years at the club between 1996 and 1999, believes the strong relationship between Levein and owner Ann Budge will see the manager remain at the helm for the foreseeable future.

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Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News, Weir said: “No one will be more disappointed than Craig with the results but it’s only five games in.

“Of course their form has perhaps been worrying for a longer period than that but Craig will know more than anyone he’ll have to change it.

“But I think he’s very lucky to have a great owner, a supportive owner who appreciates the work he does, who knows and trusts him and I think that strong relationship, between owner and manager, will be really important for Craig being given time to turn things around.”

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Hearts boss Craig Levein says he speaks regularly to owner Ann Budge and insists he can steer the club back up the table

Hearts boss Craig Levein says he speaks regularly to owner Ann Budge and insists he can steer the club back up the table

Hearts stance is ‘positive sign’

Hearts owner Budge posted a lengthy statement on the club’s website criticising “unfair” coverage of Levein and dismissing claims the club are lining up a replacement.

And Weir believes it is a refreshing change to see a club fully support a manager and, although the views of supporters are important feels it is more important to remain resolute and stick to the club’s long-term plan.

“Hearts have a big involvement from the fans in terms of putting finances into the club so they will be more aware than anyone of how important supporters are,” Weir said.

“Football has become very transient with changes at the first opportunity so to have an owner who is strong enough to back the manager and support them is a really positive sign from the club in the long-term.”

Edinburgh derby can kick-start season

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Stevie Kilgower, general secretary of Hearts Supporters Clubs, thinks it could be time for Craig Levein to step down as the Edinburgh side's manager and focus on his other role as director of football

Stevie Kilgower, general secretary of Hearts Supporters Clubs, thinks it could be time for Craig Levein to step down as the Edinburgh side’s manager and focus on his other role as director of football

Weir also believes a win in this weekend’s Edinburgh derby over Hibernian on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football from 2.30pm, is also the perfect opportunity for Levein to repay the faith shown in him with other results then quickly going their way.

“Hearts have the third highest budget in the league and perhaps the third best squad as well so I think that should come to the fore”, Weir added.

“But they need to do it quickly because Craig has put himself and the players under pressure which makes it more difficult.