Paulo Sergio officially named as Hearts boss

PAULO SERGIO has been appointed the new manager of Hearts along with his backroom team of Sergio Cruz and Alberto Cabral. The appointments were made this morning after Jim Jefferies refused the role of director of football at Tynecastle.

Jefferies was sacked yesterday then offered a job as director of football but has opted to sever his ties with the club. His assistants, Billy Brown and Gary Locke, have yet to have their positions made clear but Brown is certain to depart with Jefferies.

Sergio, the former Sporting Lisbon coach, stayed at a city centre hotel in Edinburgh last night preparing to become the tenth manager of Vladimir Romanov's tempestuous reign at Tynecastle. Aged 43, he has never coached outwith his native Portugal and was dismissed by Sporting in February this year following their Europa League elimination by Rangers. He has also managed Vitria Guimares, Paos Ferreira, Beira-Mar, Santa Clara and Olhanense in his homeland.

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He will follow in the footsteps of John Robertson, George Burley, Graham Rix, Valdas Ivanauskas, Eduard Malofeev, Anatoly Korobochka, Stephen Frail, Csaba Laszlo and Jefferies. Cruz is expected to take on the assitant manager's role, with Cabral as first-team coach.

Jefferies learned he was being relieved of his managerial duties at a meeting yesterday, just 24 hours after the 1-0 home defeat by Dundee United in Hearts' second SPL match of the season. The squad were then summoned to Tynecastle for a meeting, during which they were told a new coach was on his way.

Jefferies spent last night at home considering whether to accept the post of director of football to remain at a club he has supported since childhood, and which he guided to Scottish Cup success during his first spell as manager. However, with Sergio now in place, he has declined the offer.

Colin Cameron, part of the 1998 Cup-winning team, believes the pressure is on the new appointment to achieve immediate success in Scotland, with Thursday evening's Europa League qualifying return leg with Paksi SE looming. "It puts added pressure on the new man," said Cameron. "He is going to have to hit the ground running because that's the only way the fans are going to get over Jim and Billy leaving. How he starts off will be a big thing.

"All the Hearts fans want is a bit of stability. With Jim and Billy going back they would have thought 'great, this is it'. But everything is up in the air again and there is that uncertainty around the place. It's not great for any club when that is hanging over you.

"The Hearts board have made their decision so they need to get somebody in as soon as possible and get down to winning games again. That starts on Thursday."

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