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Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Sunday, 9 May 2010 17:53 UK

Hearts boss Jim Jefferies plots Hearts rebuilding

Jim Jefferies
Jefferies is looking to revamp the Hearts squad in the summer

Hearts manager Jim Jefferies insisted his squad demonstrated great potential despite losing 2-1 to Celtic in their final league match of the season.

"The first 45 minutes is the best I've had from the players since I came in here," said Jefferies. "So there's a nucleus of a very good side there.

"We're going to strengthen it and do whatever we can.

"There's been a lot of names bandied about, but we'll keep that under wraps until we get the deals done."

Hearts' Marius Zaliukas cancelled out Robbie Keane's 27th minute strike to level the scores going in at the interval, but China midfielder Zheng Zhi sealed the win for Celtic with a superb 61st-minute volley from 16 yards out.

We've got to be up at the right end of the table challenging and not scraping around to get into the top six. We want to be in the top six and not scraping around

Hearts manager Jim Jefferies

Despite the defeat, Jefferies was content that his players showed the right attitude and expects a more concentrated assault on the top half of the Scottish Premier League next season.

"I'm surprised with some of the players, because I think they've been given a bit of freedom to play, so we're looking forward to next year," he said.

"We've got to be up at the right end of the table challenging and not scraping around to get into the top six. We want to be in the top six and not scraping around.

"We showed today that we're a decent side and there's a lot of positives from it.

"The effort and commitment we put in today is what we're looking for on a consistent basis next year."

Hearts have already been linked with several players, including Kilmarnock striker Kevin Kyle, whom he worked with during his time at Rugby Park.

However, the man who needs convinced to release funds is club owner Vladimir Romanov, who has proven to be a complex character when dealing with transfer business at Tynecastle, but Jefferies remains confident that names can be added to the Hearts squad.

"We can only put our ideas across and what we think," said Jefferies.

"I've had no problems so far and we've discussed two or three players that we know are available and we'll try and get if we can.

"Hopefully, they'll back us, because that's one of the reasons I came in."



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see also
Hearts 1-2 Celtic
09 May 10 |  Scottish Premier


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