Levein backs Miller decision
Former Scotland boss Craig Levein believes Kenny Miller was right to retire from international duty, and also backed Hearts' fans group.
Vancouver Whitecaps frontman Miller announced he had played his last game for his country last week after winning his 69th cap in the 3-2 friendly defeat to England.
But the former Rangers, Celtic and Hibernian attacker signed off on a high as he bagged his 18th goal for Scotland at Wembley to leave him sixth on Scotland's all-time list of top scorers.
And Levein - who was sacked as Scotland manager after the team's dismal start to the current World Cup qualifying campaign - believes Miller timed his decision just right.
"I was up off my seat when he scored against England but I think Kenny has picked the right time to go," he said.
"I know he always said he would never retire but he has been a brilliant servant to Scotland.
"He has travelled a long way to play for the national team, especially since he has moved to Canada, and that is not easy when you get a bit older.
"But I have nothing but admiration for him and hopefully he can play the last couple of seasons wherever he wants to and then drift off into the sunset."
Levein was axed by the Scottish Football Association in November after the Dark Blues opened their Group A by failing to win any of their first four matches.
But he says he is now ready to re-enter management.
The ex-Hearts, Leicester and Dundee United boss said: "I'm desperate to get back into management. I found after my Leicester experience that I came back a better manager and I'm convinced I will do so again, whenever the right opportunity arises.
"I've had bits and pieces in terms of offers but nothing concrete yet."
Levein has also handed his backing to the fans' group hoping to take control of Hearts - declaring it the "real deal".
The Foundation of Hearts has been named as preferred bidder by the club's administrators BDO and hopes to put together a rescue package that will save the Edinburgh outfit from debts totalling £29million.
Its attempts hinge on the administrator running Ukio Bankas - the club's main creditor - and the financial experts that will soon be put in place to oversee the running of their major shareholder UBIG, which is also in the process of being declared bankrupt, accepting their offer of a company voluntary arrangement.
FoH has made a bid worth around £3million although it is understood the Lithuanian companies will look for a sum closer to £4million.
However, FoH has already seen off Five Stars Football Limited - which lists controversial former Livingston owner Angelo Massone among its directors - and Levein is content the group now in pole position to take over at Tynecastle will help heal the wounds of the Vladimir Romanov years.
"I was watching from afar what was happening to the club and its supporters. I was very wary of backing anyone who might put the club back in the kind of position it has been in over the past couple of years," he added.
"I had to satisfy myself that this was being done properly and I think this is the real deal."
Around 7,000 fans have already signed up to FoH's bid, while the club's support have already taken season-ticket sales past the 10,000 barrier having also raised almost £1million last December to stave off a winding-up order.
"The fans at this club deserve to have an influence, especially after what they have done," said Levein, a former Gorgie captain. "But you have to be careful about that influence because there needs to be a professional group of people running the club.
"I would suggest the Foundation don 't see 7,000 people in a room trying to pick the team. But I'm sure, more than ever, running the club properly and frugally will be upper in the forefront of people's minds."
Ukio Bankas and UBIG are owed £24m of Hearts' total debt but the former holds security against their debts on Tynecastle and there are fears the ground may be sold off to repay the £300million it currently owes.
But Levein praised the supporters who are fighting hard to save the club for extinction.
"Every supporter loves their club and they show that by paying their ticket money and some merchandise," he said.
"But to go through firstly a share issue which saw the money disappear, then for 7,000 people to buy a season ticket and for that money to disappear too, when the administrators then call for the supporters to rally round again and for another 3,500 people buy season tickets just to keep going, that shouldn't happen.
"That should not happen to any group of supporters. But the solidarity, resilience and willing to keep digging deep that they have shown is remarkable.
"But they are not out of the woods yet and it all depends on what happens out in Lithuania. Hopefully the effort that the fans, players and manager are putting in is repaid with a parting gift from the Lithuanians.
"It would be great if they could let the club go for a reasonable amount of money and let the Foundation get on with it."
Levein left his role as Hearts boss in 2004 just as Romanov was upping his interest in the Jambos but admitted he had no idea the Russian businessman's reign would have such dramatic consequences.
He said: "Who could have foreseen this situation happening? You could not have written a story like the tale the Romanov era turned out to be.
"The highs and lows were just incredible - and there have been some great times, with the cup victories in particular.
"But you sometimes wonder if it was all worth it when you see the state the club ended up in and what the supporters have had to go through in the last couple of years."