First Team

Craig hails Ikpeazu impact

30th July 2018

Craig Levein delighted with Uche Ikpeazu's impact, as well as entire team performance, in 5-0 win over ICT

Craig Levein was a happy man as Hearts produced a thumping win over Inverness CT at Tynecastle Park to progress in the Betfred Cup.

A second 5-0 victory in succession saw the Jambos win the group thanks to doubles from Uche Ikpeazu and Steven Naismith, as well as a rocket of a free-kick from Ben Garuccio, and Craig took time after the match to hail the contribution of summer signing Ikpeazu.

“Uche’s a handful,” said Craig. “He’s really strong, and he does a lot of good things. The key is putting it all together, that’s the challenge. He was really good today.

“He’s a wee bit erratic at times, but I think he can become a real focal point for us. He’s had two good games against lower league opposition so we’ll see, he’s still got it all to prove but so far I’m really happy.

“He’s got talent, undoubtedly, and it’s a step up in quality from what he’s used to in League Two down in England, but he has the basic attributes to be a really good striker.”

Gorgie hero John Robertson brought his Inverness team to Edinburgh knowing that a draw or even a narrow defeat would ensure his side’s qualification, but an attacking approach to the game ensuring an entertaining spectacle for the supporters.

“I thought it was a good game to watch. Robbo set his team up well to have a go at us, and our keeper had to make a couple of really good saves.

“We had a lot of chances too, and most importantly we were clinical in front of goal. The finishing was good today, and the boys are feeling good about themselves.”

Lastly, in the aftermath of the win, Hearts were drawn against Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park in the next round of the Betfred Cup. Having been knocked out by the Pars last season, Craig was eager to ensure there would be no repeat.

“We have recent experience of playing Dunfermline in this competition, and they seem to have improved from last season. We’ll take a reasonable crowd through there I’m sure, but I’m just happy to have gotten through today. I knew we were favourites, but we still had to do our job properly.”