Jefferies recognises the McCall style

Last updated : 07 April 2011 By TwoTonTed

Jim Jefferies believes Stuart McCall has started to mould his players into his style of player since taking charge at Fir Park. Hearts welcome Motherwell to Tynecastle on Saturday, with McCall's men looking to secure their place in the SPL's top six in their final game before the split. Only Inverness can take their place, with Caley Thistle seven points adrift with two games in hand. Jefferies, who managed McCall at Bradford over a decade ago, has seen how quickly his former charge has conveyed his determination to his Well side since succeeding Craig Brown as manager, with five wins in their last eight SPL games. 
Jefferies said: "He's only just starting now to put his stamp on it and I think they've been on a great run recently. He's very, very competitive and wants to win all the time. He'll certainly get that message across because that's the type of player he was." McCall was caretaker manager at Valley Parade before Jefferies was given the permanent position in November 2000. Jefferies could not prevent City being relegated from the English top flight, despite having players of the calibre of midfielder McCall at his disposal. Jefferies went on: "He played in almost every match when we were down there. He was Bradford through and through and a very, very competitive player. At Motherwell one thing he will do is make them show that hunger and desire." 
While Motherwell are seeking to secure their top-six place, Hearts are aiming to cement their third-placed position behind  Celtic and Rangers who are battling it out for the title. Hearts were 15 points clear at one point, but a run of one win in their last five games has seen Dundee United cut the gap to 10 points with seven games left. Motherwell helped Hearts' cause last night with a 2-1 defeat of United and Jefferies is optimistic of confirming his side's position. He added: "I've always said that until it's mathematically impossible, you just have to make sure you're winning. The most important thing is we've got a bit of leeway and it's in our own hands - that's the best position to be in. If we can get it clinched with some games left I'd like an opportunity to bring in a couple of youngsters." 
Hearts' recent poor form has not been helped by the absences of key players through injury and suspension. This weekend will see Marius Zaliukas miss the game due to his suspension for being sent off against Hibs last Sunday, while Rudi Skacel (Achilles), Suso Santana (knee) and Eggert Jonsson (facial injury) are doubtful. Lee Wallace (ankle), Kevin Kyle (groin/stomach) and Calum Elliot (knee) are definitely out.