London Hearts Supporters Club

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Andy Webster set to feature at Hamilton

Published Date: 11 February 2011
ANDY WEBSTER is fit and eager to play for Hearts against Hamilton tomorrow, with manager Jim Jefferies revealing that the defender rejected more money on offer elsewhere in favour of a return to Tynecastle.
A second Hearts debut is in prospect for Webster at New Douglas Park with Jefferies yet to decide whether he should start as a substitute or replace Ismael Bouzid in the starting line-up.

The 28-year-old rejoined Hearts last week following an acrimonious departure five years ago, and Jefferies today lauded the player's attitude. Offers from both sides of the border were available to him, including one from Edinburgh rivals Hibs, but the lure of Hearts eclipsed greater financial rewards elsewhere.

"There was a lot of interest in him and he had some great offers," said the manager. "I know there were a couple of offers on the table, particularly one which beat us. It just shows you he didn't do it for money. He's come to the club because when we were interested. This was the club that was in his mind. When we had the talks they were easy because he was desperate to come back."

Asked if Webster would start tomorrow, Jefferies replied: "He's ready. He will be in the squad. I have to talk to him about how he feels, whether we feed him in gradually or not. There's no reserve games and he'll have played a lot of (bounce) games at Rangers. But, as he says, it's hard to get yourself going in that atmosphere. There's nothing like the real thing. I think he's experienced enough and played at a high level so he'll take that in his stride. I don't see it being a problem."

Although some Hearts supporters remain unconvinced about the return of a player who was once so desperate to leave their club, Jefferies stressed Webster would take any criticism in his stride.

"It will be no problem. I talked to him about that," he said. "That's one of the things we spoke about when Andy first came into the training ground for a chat. He told me it wouldn't bother him in the slightest.

"He has to accept, if that happens, it's part and parcel of football and he's got to try and win them over. He can only do that showing he wants to play for this club. He's already done half of that by coming here against other offers. The other part is to make sure he performs well and he'll soon win them over."

Meanwhile, Hearts' clash with Hibs at Easter Road scheduled for Saturday, April 2 has been switched to the following day with a 12.45pm kick-off. The match will be televised live by Sky Sports.

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