Who Picks The Team For Hearts?
Will Jim Jefferies be in charge for the Celtic game as rumours sugegst he has been sacked/left Tynecastle Mystery surrounded the absence of Hearts captain Marius Zaliukas after he missed the 4-0 defeat to Rangers yesterday. The defender was left out of the squad for the visit to Ibrox, with Hearts manager Jim Jefferies left in the dark on his availability until the day of the game. However, Jefferies refused to divulge any more details when asked after the game, saying only: "He wasn't available for selection - that's as much as I'm going to say on it." He was unsure if his captain will be available for the mid-week game against Celtic Nothing went right for Hearts as they lost Adrian Mrowiec and David Templeton and were both forced out during the game with thigh and hamstring strains respectively. Adding to Hearts' troubles, Eggert Jonsson was sent off for a challenge on Nikica Jelavic. he will now miss the game against Celtic. Jefferies said: "For me it was a bad decision to send Eggert Jonsson off. It was a tackle, it was a foul, but I don't think it was serious enough to warrant a red card. Then, it was just a matter of trying to keep things at bay at that time. I didn't slaughter any of my players after the game due to the team I had to put out today. They tried hard but unfortunately things conspired against us. The damage was done in the first half." First-half goals from Jelavic, Kyle Lafferty and Steven Davis, as well as a late own goal from Ryan Stevenson, provided a comfortable win for Rangers, who stretched their lead at the top to four points, ahead of today's game between Celtic and Kilmarnock. Rangers manager Walter Smith acknowledged the nerves within the stadium beforehand, as his side aim to retain the SPL title with two games left to play. He said: "If you go for a job interview and it's a job you want, you'll be nervous before you go for it. If you go for a league championship and you've got a couple of games to win, you'll be nervous before the games. It's natural. You still get nervous and you need to handle that situation. It's part and parcel of it. Once we got ourselves in front, I enjoyed it. We played well and there were some good moves in the match. We are delighted, although we know we've got to keep it going. In my own mind, I felt that we had to win the three games that we had left to play and I think it's still like that. The only thing that changed with Celtic losing [at Inverness]was the fact that, if we do win the games, we win the championship, whereas if Celtic had won during the week, we wouldn't. We still have to win our games and that's the way I'm looking at it." Rangers were further boosted when Lee McCulloch came off the bench to make his first appearance since February 2 after recovering from knee surgery. Smith added: "We had McCulloch back today and it was good to get him back. He was a big part of our team in the early part of the season so we are delighted to get him back. I don't think he will manage to gain full match fitness in the next week but he is a handy one to have."
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