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<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth auth-> William Collum
[D Riordan 79]
7 of 007 Andrew Driver 22 ;Gary Glen 26L SPL H

'If the score had been four or five-nil at one stage, it would not have flattered us'

Published Date: 22 March 2010
HEARTS manager Jim Jefferies felt his team should have scored four or five goals against Hibernian as his derby selection gamble paid off in style.
Hearts triumphed 2-1 at Tynecastle after Jefferies restored Andrew Driver, Ruben Palazuelos and Ian Black to his starting line-up despite their recent knee problems.

Driver, making only his second start in four months, volleyed the opening goal in the 24th minute and his corner three minutes later was delivered onto the head of Eggert Jonsson whose effort was glanced into the net by Gary Glen.

Winger Driver had returned to training on Monday after six weeks on the sidelines, but Palazuelos only started back on Friday after a similar lay-off.

Jefferies, who saw Jose Goncalves fail a morning fitness test, was forced into an 18th-minute reshuffle when Dawid Kucharski limped off and Black did not last long enough to see the second goal after suffering a head knock.

But his side created numerous chances and a makeshift central defence of Lee Wallace and Eggert Jonsson, with Palazuelos deputising at left-back, survived comfortably after Derek Riordan netted in the 79th minute.

Jefferies said: "It was too close at the end, it should have been over. If the score had been four or five-nil at one stage, I don't think it would have flattered us.

"What pleased me was the way we started the second half – we had three great opportunities in a 10-minute spell.

"The goal that got them back into it was down to tired legs. Ruben tried to stop the ball coming in but I can't complain.

"We took a gamble with him, Black and Driver, but I felt their experience was important in a match like this. I just felt Hibs would get a surprise when they saw the team sheet.

"We had planned to take them off after an hour but the two injuries obviously upset us."

Jefferies had to use all his persuasive powers when naming the team when he admitted Driver had to be convinced that he was indeed fit enough to start his first match since last moth's Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-final defeat to St Mirren at Fir Park.

"I had to get into wee Andrew's head and tell him this would be the game they would be worried about if he was playing," the Hearts manager said.

"We convinced him this would be a game where he could be a big player. He said he would leave it up to me and as soon as he said that he was in. Palazuelos did not even train on Thursday. He said, 'maybe I would be better on the bench', but I said I didn't have time for that. Wee Blackie was always keen to play. He wasn't wanting to come off.

"We asked him how many times he had been down and he said once but he had been off (his feet] twice. That obviously tells you there is concussion there and the medical people insisted we take him off. It's unfortunate for Ian because he started the game very well."

Jefferies was also delighted with the attacking verve shown by a side that had found goals, and even chances, hard to come under previous manager Csaba Laszlo.

"I seen a dressing room that was pandemonium," Jefferies added on "I sat them down and said 'listen, the score flattered them today as you could have won by four or five but that just proves you've got the ability to go and create chances'.

"It bodes well for the future."

Taken from the Scotsman

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