Old Friends Meet Again At Tynecastle

19 March 2010 06:49
Just what would have been the outcome if John Hughes had followed Jim Jeffries all his career? John Hughes has admitted he owes almost everything he has achieved in his career to Saturday's opponents, Jim Jefferies and Billy Brown. But the Hibs manager boss insisted he would still stop at nothing to ensure the veteran pair's first Edinburgh derby back at Hearts ends in defeat. Hughes, Jefferies and Brown have been friends and colleagues for more than 20 years. Their relationship dates back to 1988 when Jefferies was appointed manager of crisis club Berwick Rangers. And despite an expletive-laden first meeting in which Hughes expressed his fury at the sacking of former boss Jimmy Thomson the pair soon struck up a chemistry that turned the club around. They and assistant manager Brown then went on to enjoy even greater success at Falkirk before finally going their separate ways. And although Saturday's game is the latest of many meetings since Hughes became a manager, it is the first in which both are in charge of the clubs they have supported all their lives. Hughes said: "I'm locking horns with Jim and Billy again, Statler and Waldorf! I'll always be grateful to those two guys and what they did for me. Most of the things that have happened for me in my football career, I've got Jimmy and Billy to thank. But come Saturday, trust me, there'll be no-one at Tynecastle more than me wanting their scalp. well, Jim's scalp, Billy's has gone! It'll be handshakes and smiles before the game but then I'll have tunnel vision." There has been plenty of mutual appreciation from the men in charge ahead of Saturday's derby. Hailing the impact Jefferies and Brown had on his career, Hughes said: "It was all about giving 100%, appreciating what you've got, appreciating being a footballer. As soon as you did that and they knew that you were trying, you had two guys who would back you 100%, through good, bad and indifferent. There's a chemistry that builds and as soon as I started working with him, that chemistry was there. He knew that I'd give him everything." Editor Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)Admin Team (admin@scottishfitba net)This is Scottish-Fitba.Net