Football: Jefferies ponders affairs of the Hearts

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The Independent Online
A HEART of Midlothian board meeting tonight will help to determine the future of Jim Jefferies as the Edinburgh club's manager.

Jefferies is the main target for Aberdeen as they look to replace Alex Miller as manager, a position the Hearts man might well be interested in if he does not hear good news from his board.

Jefferies has had a bad week. The sale of the talented winger, Neil McCann, to Rangers was followed by a 3-2 home reverse at the hands of the Ibrox club on Saturday, with McCann playing for the final 10 minutes for his new employers.

With his star player gone and his side 14 points behind Rangers, the leaders, Jefferies will look for assurances on the signing of new players to strengthen his squad, but with Hearts in the red to the tune of pounds 2m such assurances might not be forthcoming.

Rangers' victory was achieved with the help of two goals from Stephane Guivarc'h, their French striker, while Henrik Larsson again displayed his sublime talents in scoring twice as Celtic beat Dunfermline 5-0. The Swede also supplied the other three goals, which came from a Lubomir Moravcik double and another from Johan Mjallby. Larsson has already been a signing target for Sheffield Wednesday, who might once again turn their attention towards him if they sell Paolo Di Canio.

Aberdeen recorded a second successive victory with a 2-1 win over Dundee, a result which strengthens the hand of Paul Hegarty, their caretaker manager, who has suggested he would welcome the position on a permanent basis, while Mark Hateley, the former Rangers striker who recently finished a spell as manager of Hull City, is thought to be one of the favourites for the vacancy at St Mirren.

The First Division side sacked their manager, Tony Fitzpatrick, last week and, along with Hateley, Sergei Baltacha, the former Inverness Caledonian manager, is thought to be in the running, with the club expected to make an announcement later this week.

Iain Durrant's penalty three minutes from time secured a 2-0 win for Kilmarnock over Dundee United at Rugby Park yesterday, consolidating their second place in the Premier League. The home side's spot-kick was awarded after Darren Patterson handled a cross by Ally Mitchell. On the half-hour Paul Wright had headed in Durrant's free-kick at the near post for his eighth goal of the season.