Kello backs Jefferies stance

There was no sign on Friday of Goncalves backing down in his stand-off with manager Jim Jefferies, who was expecting the rebel defender to decide before Saturday's Scottish Premier League game against Falkirk whether to extend his stay at Tynecastle.

Jefferies this week issued a stark ultimatum to 24-year-old Goncalves - sign a new deal or spend the rest of the season out of the side.

That is despite an injury crisis which has spread to Jefferies' defence, something which means a much busier time for Kello.

Asked if having Goncalves available would aid Hearts' cause, Kello said: "I think it would be helpful for us.

"The gaffer knows what is important for the players and he needs players who want to play for him, who want to fight for him, for the club.

"I don't think Jose wouldn't fight, wouldn't play as well as he can.

"But this is the manager's decision."

He added: "Jose has his mind open and he must know what he wants.

"If he wants to go, he'll go. I can't make the decision for him.

"I'm not going to cry, I'm not going to laugh. That's life."

Kello's loan deal from FBK Kaunas expires in the summer and he revealed he had already begun talks with Hearts about extending it for another season.

But asked whether he feared the Goncalves treatment if he refused to sign on, he declined to comment.

After his performance at Celtic on Wednesday night, it is easy to see why the Jambos are keen to retain 27-year-old.

The Slovakian was on top form to prevent the Hoops winning by more than two goals and came out on top in his personal duel with loan star Robbie Keane.

"It was nice to see him face to face because he's a big name," said Kello.

"It was my target - I didn't want him to score."

The build-up to the Celtic game saw Jefferies declare Kello was currently his undisputed number one.

"He didn't say to me exactly, 'You're number one'," said Kello, who has been battling with Janos Balogh for the jersey since arriving at Hearts in 2008.

"I must fight for my position, so I don't want to disappoint him.

"I don't want to give him any opportunity to change me."

At the other end of the pitch, Hearts' strikers have failed to score in their last four matches.

But Kello believes the club's problems go deeper than that, saying: "The is no question: if they have the possibility to score, they can score.

"But, in the games, we don't have possibilities; we don't have the passing game to get a chance to score."

With Saturday's match against rock-bottom Falkirk followed by another home encounter with struggling Hamilton, Kello reckons Hearts have no excuses for failing to take six points in the coming days.

"If we want to stay in the best six, we have to beat them, no question," he said.

"It's our duty."

Meanwhile, Hearts director Sergejus Fedotovas has aimed a belated parting shot at sacked boss Csaba Laszlo by accusing him of using the club as "a stepping stone" to a bigger job.

Fedotovas issued a statement in which he contrasted the former manager's attitude with that of Jefferies, who said on Friday it was "too early" to tell whether Kevin Kyle would be joining the club this summer.

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Source: Team Talk