Jim Jefferies will be an upgrade on Craig Levein, insists former Hearts winger


NEIL McCANN insists Jim Jefferies unparalleled experience will make him an upgrade on Craig Levein when Hearts delve into the transfer market.

Jefferies, 69, has returned to Tynecastle as an advisor to the board for the next six months after the capital club paused their search for a sporting director.

He will aid Ann Budge on a wide range of footballing matters, including recruitment, and be on-hand to offer guidance to head coach Robbie Neilson.

Neil McCann during his stint as manager of Dundee | Hearts news
Former Hearts and Scotland winger Neil McCann

And McCann believes his former boss will more than fill the void left by Levein’s departure as director of football at the end of May.

He said: “Jim has a brilliant tradition with the club and I’m not surprised that the board have moved to bring him in.

“This advisory position will be exceptional in terms of the experience he has to tap into.

“He has worked through so many levels of the game. I’m not just talking about Hearts – he has experience of working with agents, structuring deals and he’ll be hugely helpful to Ann Budge.

“I know Ann spoke often about how she would lean on Craig Levein’s advice and expertise in that field – but Jim exceeds that and that knowledge will be invaluable to Ann and Robbie [Neilson].”

Jefferies signed McCann for Hearts in 1996 and they went on to lift the Scottish Cup two years later, while he cut his teeth in coaching under the veteran boss at Dunfermline in 2012.

And he is adamant Jefferies presence will also be a weight off Robbie Neilson’s shoulders, allowing him to simply focus on fielding a successful team.

McCann told BBC Sportsound: “Robbie now has a really trusted figure within the club and can allow things to develop behind the scenes, safe in the knowledge that there is a football guy close to the board and he can just do his job on the training field.”