Hearts manager Jim Jefferies aims to play youngsters

Hearts manager Jim Jefferies
Hearts manager Jim Jefferies is aiming to blood some youngsters

Hearts manager Jim Jefferies has vowed to give his young players a run in the first team - once they have secured third place in the league.

The Tynecastle club currently sit 10 points clear of fourth-placed Dundee United with seven matches remaining.

But Hearts have won only one of their last five Scottish Premier League fixtures.

"I would like to be in a position to give some younger players a run out," said Jefferies.

"If we do get it clinched then maybe some of the Under-19s will get a chance, although not against the Old Firm!

"I have got a couple earmarked to be at least involved in a bit of the games."

Jefferies insisted that, despite a raft of injuries within his squad that have not helped his side's form, they were well-placed to clinch third spot.

"I've always said that, until it's mathematically impossible, you just have to make sure you're winning," he said.

"The most important thing is we've got a bit of leeway and it's in our own hands - that's the best position to be in."

Motherwell visit Tynecastle on Saturday and Jefferies admitted he has been impressed by the competitiveness new manager Stuart McCall has brought to the Steelmen.

"He's only just starting now to put his stamp on it and I think they've been on a great run recently," he said.

"He's very, very competitive and wants to win all the time.

"He'll certainly get that message across, because that's the type of player he was."

Saturday's match also marks 125 years of football at Tynecastle and Jefferies said the memory of returning to the stadium after winning the Scottish Cup in 1998 will live with him forever.

"What will always stick in my mind is the reception we received on the Sunday," he said.

"We had been on the open-top bus from the City Chambers then we arrived back at the stadium, where there was not a seat to be had.

"It just shows how much pleasure we brought to the fans who had waited for that for a long, long time," he said.