Sergio praise for Jefferies

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New Hearts manager Paulo Sergio paid tribute to predecessor Jim Jefferies and described himself as "a humble guy" eager for success at Tynecastle.

Jefferies spent Monday night contemplating an offer from Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov to become director of football, rejecting terms on Tuesday morning before departing, with former Sporting Lisbon boss Sergio confirmed as his successor.

Sergio told Hearts TV: "I respect a lot the work of Jim, his past, but now the directors have invited me to work at the club. It's an honour for me and I'm going to do all my best to be successful at Tynecastle. I had an ambition to come and work in British football. I'm happy."

Sergio becomes Hearts' 11th manager in Romanov's near seven-year tenure at Tynecastle and immediately focused his attention on Thursday's Europa League third qualifying round second leg with Hungary's Paks in Edinburgh.

Sergio, who is set to be unveiled at Wednesday's pre-match media conference, told Hearts TV: "I'm very much excited and proud to be at Hearts.

"I don't think that I know everything. I am a humble guy and I sure am going to learn too. I hope to get good results and good football for Hearts."

Jefferies, his assistant Billy Brown, who is yet to agree full terms of his departure, and Gary Locke, who for now remains as first-team coach, guided Hearts to third place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League last term and a place in Europe.

Hearts started the season with a 1-1 draw against Rangers at Ibrox in the SPL and followed it up with a 1-1 draw against Paks in Hungary.

Sunday's loss to Dundee United - a game watched by Romanov - extended Hearts' winless run to 11 games, since the March 19 defeat of St Mirren, and the poor form is understood to be the reason for Jefferies' departure.

The United loss was Jefferies' last match in his second spell in charge, with the players reportedly told at a meeting on Monday that a manager "with European experience" was needed at the club.

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Europa League
Gary Locke
Gary Locke
Premier League

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