Sergio appointed new Hearts coach

Hearts have appointed Sporting Lisbon coach Paulo Sergio as the successor to Jim Jefferies, sacked as manager by the Scottish Premier Leaguer side yesterday. The 43-year-old former Portuguese striker was appointed this morning, less than 24 hours after Hearts split with Jefferies, who has declined the offer of a position as the Tynecastle club's director of football.

Jefferies told Hearts' website: ""Even though I'm disappointed at leaving the club and everyone knows my strong connection to Hearts, I'd like to thank the club for the opportunity myself and Billy (Brown, his assistant) have had in the last 18 months.

"I also appreciate the offer to develop in a new role at Hearts, however it has perhaps come too soon and it might be something that I would consider at a later date. I want to wish the players and staff all the best for the forthcoming season."

Sergio, who had a six month spell managing Sporting Lisbon last season, becomes Heart's ninth manager in the turbulent seven year reign of controversial owner Vladimir Romanov. Hearts are currently on a run of 11 games without a win, having picked up their last victory on 19 March against St Mirren, and lost 1-0 at home to Dundee United on Sunday.