Hearts boss praises groundwork for win against Aberdeen

HEARTS boss Jim Jefferies has heaped praise on the people who put in the work that prevented a late postponement of Saturday's clash with Aberdeen at Tynecastle.

Jefferies was delighted to see his side come out of a three-week cold storage by making it five wins in a row with a thumping 5-0 success against Aberdeen.

The victory not only cemented Hearts' place in third spot in the Clydesdale Bank SPL but saw them close to within six points of second-placed Celtic.

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Yet Jefferies reckoned the first people who needed to be thanked on Saturday were those who pulled out all the stops to overcome problems caused by snow and ice.

Work had to be carried out earlier in the week to repair damage to the Main Stand and the two dug-outs, with the game only being given the go-ahead by safety officials on Friday morning.

But Hearts were then hit with a further problem on the morning of the game when it was discovered toilets in the Roseburn Stand had suffered burst pipes.

That led to a decision being made that fans normally seated there had to be accommodated elsewhere in the ground, providing a major headache on a day when roads and streets around the ground were treacherous due to a thaw.

In the end, a crowd of just under 13,500 watched the game and Jefferies was quick to acknowledge it wasn't just his players who deserved a pat on the back.

"There were a lot of people put a lot of effort to get this game on," he said.

"We've been hit severely by damage to the Main Stand and the game was in doubt right up to the last minute because of what happened at the Roseburn end.

"There was one fantastic effort put in to allow this game to go ahead and we thank these people. It was nice to reward them by putting on a really good performance and getting a really good result.

"Everyone can be really pleased with themselves today."

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In winning their last five games, Hearts have scored 13 goals and not conceded one.

They now head for Motherwell tomorrow night for a re-arranged league clash and Jefferies admits his job is being made easy at the moment due to the quality and effort he's getting from his players.

"We are keeping our feet on the ground," he said when asked what his team could now be expected to achieve with Celtic in their sights.

"We've got a great bunch with a spirit and togetherness. Confidence is flying. We've won seven of our last eight games and had five victories on the trot all with clean sheets.

"We know somewhere along the line there's going to be a setback, that's just the nature of football because you become a target. But what we are doing is building up a head of steam and know that if that happens it won't hurt us badly because we'll know how to respond to that again.

"The players are showing terrific will to go out and keep the run going. The job is easy for me at the moment as I've picked the same side for the last five matches.

"But we are going into a heavy period and know that our pool has to be strong over the next couple of weeks when games come thick and fast over the festive period while we've also had a couple of games cancelled.

"Right now it's not hurting us and the players were fresh against Aberdeen due to the break caused by the weather. That showed that as they were exceptional."