Football: Jansen looks to bring down Hearts

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The Independent Online
Wim Jansen, the Celtic head coach, is determined to stop Hearts' title charge at Parkhead today. Hearts lead the Premier Division by two points from Rangers, with Celtic a further three points adrift knowing they cannot afford to lose at home to Jim Jefferies' side.

Boosted by the pounds 2m arrival of the Norwegian, Harald Brattbakk from Rosenborg, Jansen now feels he has enough options to satisfy his own tactical verve.

"We can close the gap on Hearts to two points if we beat them, so I think everyone knows the importance of the game," he said. "Hearts have played very well to top the table with a stable side and it is up to us to reduce the lead they have.

"It will be a hard game as they can play to a high level and I feel they are genuine title contenders."

The Dundee chief executive, Peter Marr, yesterday urged Premier Division sides to see sense after it emerged they will decide next week whether to dispense with relegation this season.

At present, the bottom club stand to be demoted and replaced by the top first division side - currently Dundee - but spokesman for the breakaway clubs, Lex Gold, admitted that ending promotion is under consideration.

"I don't think anybody wants a closed league," Marr said. "The breakaway clubs are saying they don't want further talks, but surely common sense will prevail."

Albion Rovers, of the Third Division, had their ground closed down yesterday by their local authority. That means that today's First Division match between Hamilton and Airdrie is off. Hamilton have been groundsharing this season at Albion and now both clubs must find somewhere else to play.

North Lanarkshire Council say that major electrical repair and installation works have not been carried out to their satisfaction and have withdrawn the safety certificate. Albion hope to start work as soon as possible but as it may be some time before another safety certificate is issued.

The Hamilton secretary, Scott Struthers, said: "My club had no prior warning that this was to happen and we apologise to all supporters."

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