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Page last updated at 23:30 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Defender Jose Goncalves might not play for Hearts again

Hearts defender Jose Goncalves
Goncalves was left out of the side for the semi-final at Fir Park

Jim Jefferies says he left Jose Goncalves out the side that lost their cup semi-final to St Mirren because the defender wants to leave Hearts.

"I have had a word with Jose and he is resigned to leaving the club," the Hearts manager said after the 1-0 Co-operative Insurance Cup defeat.

"He has made his mind up that he wants to go.

"I would rather work with players that want to play for the club and that's what I will do."

Goncalves recently said he expected to stay at the Edinburgh club despite having failed to agree an extension to a contract that ends in the summer.

We played a million times better

Hearts manager Jim Jefferies

But that was before last week's sacking of manager Csaba Laszlo and the Portuguese defender was left out of the squad for Tuesday's semi-final at Fir Park despite having recovered from injury.

The January transfer window closed on Monday for most of Europe's leagues with Goncalves still at Tynecastle, but Jefferies indicated that he might have played his last game for the club.

"There are other areas where he could go," said Jefferies.

Jim Jefferies, who led Hearts to two cup finals in his previous spell as manager, feels he needs time to instil an attacking ethos in the team.

However, he felt there was little between the sides and thought there was significant improvement from his first game back in charge, another 1-0 defeat on Saturday against St Johnstone.

"We played a million times better," Jefferies said.

"You could see there was a willingness to get forward more than they are used to. It will take time to get them into our way of thinking."

Jefferies admitted before the game that he missed out on signing a striker before the transfer window closed - just like predecessor Laszlo.

He was eager to bolster his attacking options but was only able to add midfielder Ryan Stevenson from Ayr United.


"We've tried hard to get a striker," Jefferies told Hearts' website.

"We agreed with the owners about the striking position, but it had to be the right one."

Laszlo's complaints about not being able to acquire a striker contributed in part to his sacking as manager last week.

And Jefferies suffered similar frustration even though he says he had the backing of owner Vladimir Romanov.

"We made a few enquiries about boys who were not available in the end," he said.

"Bringing someone in for the sake of it would not have worked.

"For now, we go with what we've got and we'll come back to this in the summer."

Laszlo had hoped to persuade Romanov to sign Steve MacLean from Plymouth.

However, the former Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday striker joined Scottish Premier League rivals Aberdeen on loan.

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see also
Hearts 0-1 St Mirren
02 Feb 10 |  Scottish Cups
Goncalves expects stay at Hearts
29 Jan 10 |  Hearts

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