No Way For Jose?
Updated Friday, 12th March 2010
Hearts recognise they will most probably lose Jose Goncalves in the summer. Not the end of the world says manager Jim Jeffries
Jim Jefferies is resigned to losing defender Jose Goncalves at the end of the season. Patience shown by Hearts in trying to convince contract rebel Goncalves to accept the "unbelievable offer" made earlier this year has run out and the club have to move on. The Portuguese defender's contract ends in the summer. Goncalves had been sent to Coventry over his refusal to agree the deal but was called back into action for the game against Dundee United last week which Hearts lost. Jeffries resolve to stand firm was undermined by reading the long list of casualties from the first team squad. However, it looks likely that Goncalves will be cast aside again as soon as the current crisis eases.
Jefferies said: "I hope he has a change of heart but, having spoken with him about it for long enough, it's highly unlikely. We have to move on. Jose has been made a fantastic offer but he isn't going to sign for that. He is a good player and we want him to stay but, if his mind is made up, and he's moving on, then others have to be given a chance. I can't leave players out who want to be here. They need to play to give me a chance to assess whether I want them or not."
With Dawid Kucharski recovering from a groin injury, Goncalves may not manage to get two games in a row and sit out Saturday's game at Motherwell. And despite looking like losing the club's star defender, Jefferies knows that he may not be the last big name leaving the Edinburgh club. Club captain Michael Stewart - currently out with a calf problem - is another senior player whose contract end in the summer. Jefferies has yet to make up his mind whether to keep Stewart and others in the same boat. He thinks that they are playing brinkmanship and considered there is little danger of them signing pre-contracts elsewhere in the meantime. Former Kilmarnock boss Jefferies said: "Hearts are a big club, a huge club, and a lot of people want to play for this club. I don't see that as a big problem as it maybe would be say - with all due respect - for Kilmarnock. There's a status that goes with playing with Hearts, and obviously they pay that little bit more. They should be wanting to play here."
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
Admin Team (admin@scottishfitba net)
This is Scottish-Fitba.Net