Football

Sergio set for Hearts unveiling

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Paulo Sergio is set to be unveiled as the latest manager in Hearts' turbulent recent history.

The 43-year-old former Sporting Lisbon boss was on Tuesday appointed as successor to Jim Jefferies - who it was confirmed turned down the role of director of football - and took charge of training. Sergio, who becomes Hearts' 11th manager in owner Vladimir Romanov's near seven-year tenure at Tynecastle, will be introduced to the media on Wednesday afternoon.

The Portuguese told Hearts TV: "I really liked the first contact with the group, with the players, with all the people here working for Hearts. "

And, as Hearts prepare to host Hungary's Paks in the second leg of the Europa League third-round qualifying tie on Thursday night, he added: "We're not going to change a lot of things the team has been doing.

"We know it's an important game for us and we're just thinking about winning the game."

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.

Sergio, whose six-month spell at Sporting included being knocked out of the Europa League in the last 32 by Rangers in February, took charge of training on Tuesday, under the watchful eye of Lithuanian businessman Romanov.

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Topics:
Europa League
Gary Locke
Gary Locke
Football
Premier League

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