Kello enjoying family spirit

Marian Kello has thanked the safe hands of manager Jim Jefferies for moulding a more cohesive unit at Tynecastle and persevering with him as number one. The 28-year-old Slovakian stopper believes the cliques which developed in previous regimes are now gone under Jefferies' stewardship. Kello said: "We are more of a family than before. Jim has got us a little bit more together, a good squad with good people and we try our best. I think we're a squad of positive people and that's important. In the dressing room if you have groups, this never can work out. You need one family who are going one way and if there is even one man going the other way it is a problem."

Marius Zaliukas has been praised by Jefferies for his ability and Kello concurred, while also lauding his powers of creating team unity. Kello went on: "He's a very good captain, a leader on the pitch and in the dressing room and if anyone has a problem they can go to him. We've had two clean sheets in the last two games, we're more settled down and more comfortable in defence as a team."

Jefferies, though, has been the key for Kello to Hearts' improvement. He said: "He has brought passion. We have tough training and we all know what we're fighting for. For the old manager I was not the number one. Each season I played about 15 games but I had the feeling that one mistake would see me thrown out of the team. I feel now a confidence with this manager - he believes in me, believes in my ability. I'm happy with that and I'll try not to disappoint him. It's good - I know if I'm playing well and I make one mistake he's not going to throw me out of the team. I know if I play well for him I can stay in goal."

As well as bidding for a third straight win, Hearts and Kello, in particular, will be seeking a third successive clean sheet at Tynecastle on Sunday. Hearts sit fourth in the table entering this weekend's action and Kello is determined to challenge at the right end of the table throughout the season. He said: "We want to stay there and we want results. It's not going to be easy - we know that. It's about us, how we take this opportunity that we have. We have a good squad and I think we can get the results."