London Hearts Supporters Club

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Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth None auth-> Iain Brines
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8 of 013 Christopher Innes og 44 ;Ryan Stevenson 55 ;Calum Elliot 69L SPL A

Jefferies faces striker dilemma

20 Sep 2010

The quiet revolution Jim Jefferies is effecting at Hearts took another progressive step with this victory, although the Tynecastle manager will now have to address the problem of which of his strikers he must leave out.

Kevin Kyle may have taken the plaudits for transforming the course of the game after replacing the injured Ian Black 10 minutes before the break, but the influence of Calum Elliot, who scored his side’s third goal, and Ryan Stevenson, deserve mentions in dispatches.

Stevenson expressed his relief that, after some eight months with the club, he finally managed to find the back of the net, an occurrence that was commonplace at previous club Ayr United.

When, 10 minutes into the second half, he fired in the second goal for Hearts after Chris Innes’ own goal, seconds before the break, had levelled matters, his sense of relief was palpable.

Could it really have been last Christmas since he had experienced such elation?

“That was my last goal, before I left Ayr,” he said. “It had been the longest period without scoring and it was starting to play on my mind.

“The longest I went at Ayr without scoring was four games. So, it’s better late than never and I hope to kick on from here.”

If Jefferies allowed himself a smile of satisfaction at the end, Terry Butcher, the Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager, was troubled by how easily his defence was swept aside.

It was a concern reiterated by Staurt Duff, the Caledonian Thistle midfielder. “We’ve got to handle threats like Kyle,” he insisted, “and we didn’t. We haven’t won a home game this season and that’s something we need to change.

“Any team have got to turn their home ground into a fortress and, so far, we haven’t. Away from home we’re unbeaten and the sooner we can get a home victory, the better. That will get the fans on our side.”

But what of the increased competition for places in the Hearts front-line? “It keeps everybody on their toes,” said Elliot. “It’s difficult to play one up and one playing off him, but when Kevin came on he changed the game and it was good for the team.

“If we hadn’t got the equaliserbefore half-time, the gaffer would have given us a hard time at the break but it was a crucial time to go in front and it gave us a boost for the remainder of the second half.

“We gained momentum and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck to win the points.”

Inverness will, of course, need more than the cheers of their supporters when they pitch up at Celtic Park for the third round of the Co-operative Insurance Cup on Wednesday night, though Butcher was adamant there is no requirement on his part for motivation. “It’s the kind of game all players want to be involved in,” he said, “and we’ll be allowed to play football. We’re looking forward to it.”

Meanwhile, with the Edinburgh side in cup action at Falkirk tomorrow night, Jefferies will ask his men to restate their determination to make an impact in the SPL this season.

Taken from the Herald

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