First Team

Craig fully focused on Dundee

23rd October 2018

Craig Levein insists his players wont take their focus off tonight's Ladbrokes Premiership match against Dundee despite there being a run of high profile games on the horizon.

The Jambos continue a busy spell with a trip to Dens Park this evening and then face Celtic in Sunday’s Betfred Cup semi final.

With matches against Hibs and Celtic again to follow next week, some may forgive the manager for casting one eye further down the line, but he says the only way to properly prepare for games in the future is to concentrate on the task at hand and winning three points.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Monday, Craig said: “I look at it fairly simply and that is to go into Sunday feeling good, we’re better having won the game at Dundee than me messing about and trying to be clever, because trying to be clever is not one of my biggest strengths.

“I think the game tomorrow night is hugely important and we can only help Sunday by putting on a good performance and trying to get three points tomorrow.

“We’re going into this game looking to win as well. We have to.

“We’ve got a better team and a better squad (than previously) and we have the players who are capable of going anywhere and winning.

“The mindset has to be one of to try and pick up three points tomorrow.

“We’ll face difficulties, of course. I really rate Jim McIntyre. I think he’s a brilliant guy, I also think he’s a very good manager and I think he’ll do a good job.

“I just hope it takes longer than he hopes to get them rolling.”

The Jambos put Aberdeen to the sword on Saturday without the services of John Souttar, Christophe Berra, Uche Ikpeazu and Peter Haring.

Craig has revealed he doesn’t have any fresh any concerns but concedes the Dens Park trip may come a little too soon for Haring.

“Peter might be ok but I don’t know if he will be,” he said. “He’s got this muscle strain, which is caused by a weakness in the lining of his stomach…a hernia, and it’s caused a muscle strain.

“Muscle strains aren’t for messing around with. He needs to feel right before I put him on the field and he’s just not quite there yet.

“I think he’ll be alright for Sunday, he’s improving all the time.

“I don’t think we’ve got any further injuries, other than the ones that you know about. It’s quite a short turnaround.

“We’ve got players who are stiff and sore and the usual stuff after games but I don’t think there is anybody will miss the game on Tuesday through picking up an injury at the weekend.”

Craig’s press conference is available to watch in full on HeartsTV by clicking here.