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HEARTS manager Jim Jefferies is determined to prevent Craig Thomson's situation becoming a "sideshow" that affects the rest of his team.

The Jambos boss was speaking out after the club's decision to allow the defender to resume his career following a conviction for "lewd, libidinous and indecent behaviour".

The 20-year-old full-back earlier this month pleaded guilty, was fined and placed on the sex offenders register in relation to his inappropriate conduct towards two under-age girls over the internet.

Jefferies said: "There will be some games now where this gives us a situation.

"We have to make sure that if Craig ever gets back in the team - and let's not forget there's competition for places - how will he handle what's coming to him? "We have to be sure as well because at the end of the day that's going to affect tshe performance of the rest of the players if it becomes a bit of a sideshow which gets out of hand."

Jefferies added: "This is the worst thing I've ever had to deal with. Of course, part of a manager's life is dealing with situations. You don't want your club to be associated with anything like this."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 28, 2011
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