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Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth Craig Forbes auth-> Craig Thomson
[M Diouf 60]
3 of 004 Suso Santana 25F H

Jefferies confident Elliott will arrive in time for SPL opener

Published Date: 09 August 2010
JIM Jefferies hopes Republic of Ireland internationalist Stephen Elliott will join Hearts this week. The 26-year-old striker still has some paperwork to complete with Preston before any move can take place.
But the Hearts manager is optimistic he will have Elliott in his squad by the time St Johnstone visit Tynecastle for the Clydesdale Bank Premier League opener this weekend.

"We're close to Stephen Elliott," said Jefferies. "That's a big help becau se if he can get the paperwork tidied up at Preston we can then sit down and try and work out the situation.

"We're very close to getting him. Everything is done with Preston on our side but on his side things need to be sorted out. You need to go through the usual procedures.

"This lad would take a big drop (in wages) to come to Scotland. The fact he knew Kevin Kyle and played with him at Sunderland helped.

"A lot of people have recommended him including Mick McCarthy and they think he could do a great turn. Hopefully we can get it tied up.

"He is in and around the box and sharp and when Kyle gets back there would be good competition for places."

Jefferies was impressed by 20-year-old Cameroonian Jonathan Toto during the Metz Academy youngster's trial spell.

He said: "He has scored six goals in three games. He did some daft things in the games but I think he's got something. He won't cost a fortune. He might take a wee bit of time to get it out but there's a bit of raw talent.

"Sometimes along the way you unearth a little gem. I think he's got something worth working on. It will be up to us to get that out of him. He might turn out to be a real find."

Hearts had to be content with a share of the spoils after dominating a shadow Blackburn team for much of the game. And their goal, from Suso Santana, was fit to grace any contest, it was of such high quality. The Spaniard fired a right-foot shot from 20 yards, which dipped under Mark Bunn's crossbar after 26 minutes.

Hearts could have been ahead after ten minutes when Lithuanian winger Arvydas Novikovas received the ball on the left wing, tricked his way past two players and sent in a low drive just wide. Novikovas created another opening after 18 minutes when he split the defence with a crossfield pass to Jason Thomson, received the return, but was off balance for his volley which flew over.

Rovers' best chance came three minutes later when El-Hadji Diouf's cross from the right was headed down by Morten Gamst Pedersen and Hearts goalkeeper Janos Balogh tipped it over the bar. From the corner, Jason Thomson cleared Keith Andrews' effort off the line.

Pedersen, Chris Samba and El-Hadji Diouf all went close for the visitors before the break.

Craig Thomson had two great chances, and should have scored before the break when presented with a free header which he put wide. Bunn then pulled off a great save from Thomson's free kick after the interval. And Rovers made Hearts pay for those missed chances when Mame Diouf, on loan from Manchester United, scored with a low drive.

Hearts: Balogh (MacDonald 45), J Thomson, Barr, Zaliukas, Wallace, C Thomson, Black (McGowan 69), Palazuelos, Novikovas (Templeton 69), Suso Santana (Stevenson 80), Elliot (Toto 72). Subs not used: Jonsson, Bouzid, Mrowiec.

Blackburn Rovers: Bunn (Brown 60), Jacobsen, Olsson, Samba (Givet 71), Nelsen, Nzonzi (Linganzi 64), Hoilett, Andrews, Blackman (M Diouf 46), E Diouf, Pedersen (Morris 68). Unused subs: Doran, Gunning, Judge.

Referee: C Thomson (Larbert).

Attendance: 6,333

Taken from the Scotsman

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