• Checks into mission to halt club’s slide in the Championship
  • Praised by former employers Hearts for his work with the Under-18 side at Tynecastle
  • Identified by boss Stuart Taylor as a coach to influence his players

LOOKING UP...John Rankin is desperate to help revive Accies'

JOHN RANKIN has been appointed as the new assistant manager of Scottish Championship side Hamilton Accies.

The 38-year-old former Hibs and Dundee United midfielder found the lure of a return to the first team arena too much and has left his role as Under-18s boss at Premiership Heart of Midlothian to take up the new challenge.

Accies boss Stuart Taylor sees Sport Careers Agency client Rankin as a vital piece of the mission to revive his club's season.

After relegation from the top flight last time around, the New Douglas Park side are struggling again and sit just one point above rock-bottom Queen of the South.

Accies chairman Allan Maitland said: "We are delighted to have John as part of the coaching staff here.

"He was a candidate identified by Stuart as someone who would improve the club with his coaching ability.

"After two years at Hearts we look forward to seeing his influence on the club's first team.”

Taylor and Rankin face a crucial first game at the helm together on Saturday when Accies play host to Dunfermline who are now bossed by John's old Hibs gaffer John Hughes.

Rankin leaves behind a superb impression of his work at Tynecastle.

Hearts Sporting Director Joe Savage, who has appointed former Rangers and Scotland striker Steven Naismith as Rankin's successor as Under-18s Head Coach, said: "As much as we would've liked to have kept John, he felt the opportunity to take the next step in his coaching journey was something he couldn't turn down.

"He goes with our best wishes and thanks for all of his efforts over the past three-and-a-half years."

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