Jefferies to get tough on Jambos

The matter reached crisis point during December's defeat at Hamilton, who Hearts face at Tynecastle on Sunday.

The match at New Douglas Park saw four Jambos players and a masseur sent off, with the contest marred by an ugly post-match tunnel brawl.

Jefferies, who returned to Hearts for a second spell in charge last month, will not tolerate a repeat of such scenes.

"These things shouldn't happen," he said.

"They want to do their battling on the pitch - and I don't mean that in a punch-up way.

"If it's not going your way and you're angry, you've just got to bite your tongue.

"Retaliation gets you in trouble. That's something that we need to address."

Hearts have yet to see red in Jefferies' four matches back at the helm but the manager admits that is more by accident than design.

The 59-year-old has been too busy familiarising himself with his squad and attempting to deal with contract rebel Jose Goncalves to address the issue.

But that is about to change, with Jefferies keen to stamp out the kind of ill discipline that has seen the club fined £50,000 in the past year.

"This club has been fined heavily for their conduct on the park and that has to change," said Jefferies, who plans to meet managing director Campbell Ogilvie on Monday to discuss the problem. "The fines will only go up and up.

"If it's for dissent and reckless challenges and arguing with the referee, every club would put up a strict code of conduct."

He added: "They need to see some guidelines put down in writing so that they know exactly what's happening if they step out of line.

"Nobody's wanting them fined.

"But they have to learn that this can't go on.

"I've ended up being without Michael Stewart a couple of times for stupid things.

"Christian Nade - before I came here - kicked the ball away, got himself sent off."

Meanwhile, Jefferies confirmed Laryea Kingston could make his first appearance for more than two months on Sunday, while Jason Thomson was also set to return from injury.

Doubtful with a knee knock picked up against Falkirk on Saturday is Ian Black, who Jefferies cited as an example of how he has tried to instil a more attractive style of play than predecessor Csaba Laszlo.

"Maybe I can get one or two players to play better," said Jefferies, who is considering asking Hearts legend John Robertson to coach the club's strikers on a one-off basis.

"I think Ian Black's a perfect example - it's no criticism of Csaba.

"I think even by his own admission, he didn't feel he was getting the best out of him.

"He (Black) was man of the match on Saturday, he scored a terrific goal, because he was a little bit freer to play."

Laszlo this week hit out at Jefferies for criticising his record, but Jefferies insisted today he had every respect for his predecessor, who led the club to third place last season.

"Nobody's criticising how they did it because results were the end product," Jefferies said.

"But we prefer to try to be successful a different way, maybe add a bit more flair to it, a bit more freedom."

Source: Team Talk