Leslie Deans hopeful latest manager can work well with Vladimir Romanov

LESLIE Deans, the former Hearts chairman, says he believes new Hearts manager Jim Jefferies and the club's owner Vladimir Romanov can establish the sort of harmonious relationship which can improve on-field matters at Tynecastle.

Deans and Jefferies have remained close since the latter's previous spell in charge at Tynecastle. Deans was the club chairman as Jefferies guided Hearts to the 1998 Scottish Cup, their first trophy success for 36 years.

Sceptics have already questioned how long Jefferies, the latest in a long line of managerial appointments under Romanov, will survive. However, Deans is hopeful that this time the club has a manager who can hold down his job.

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"Jim has been given his dream job," said Deans. "There is no doubt that any manager of Hearts must be able to work with Vladimir Romanov and his people; I am quite, quite confident that will happen in this case.

"Both men are astute and experienced enough to realise that they must work together. The relationship between manager and chairman, or in Hearts' case owner, is arguably the most important at a club. Jim knows that."

Deans says he has been pleased by Romanov's swift actions in appointing Jefferies just hours after the dismissal of Csaba Laszlo.

"I first suggested to Vladimir three or four years ago that he should make moves to bring Jim back," the former chairman recalled. "I am so pleased that he has done it now and compliment him for moving so quickly after Csaba left. People say you should not go back (to a club] but they should not for a minute regard this as a sentimental appointment.

"Jim produced one of the best Hearts teams of the last 40 years during his last tenure, and now the club has simply brought back the best man for the job.

"Just look at the success Walter Smith has had since going back to Ibrox. He is older than Jim, and the best manager Britain has produced (Sir Alex Ferguson] is still doing the business at Old Trafford when considerably older than Jim; age is not an issue."

Deans, who remains close to Romanov and his associates, had a chat with Jefferies and his assistant, Billy Brown, in the immediate aftermath of Saturday's defeat to St Johnstone.

The Edinburgh solicitor is hopeful that Jefferies' ability to work within budgetary constraints will prove valuable in the current football climate. "When you look back, I was not able to give Jim a big budget," Deans said. "He brought in Neil McCann, Colin Cameron, Stefano Salvatori and Gilles Rousset without spending a fortune.

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"I reminded Neil when I met him on Saturday how myself and Jim literally hauled him off a plane – he was about to sign for Sturm Graz – to convince him to come to Tynecastle. We paid Dundee 200,000 and sold him to Rangers for 2 million. I am not saying Jim didn't make mistakes but he had an ability to unearth diamonds. That will be very useful at a time when Hearts, like so many other clubs, have to be prudent."