After today’s 4-1 victory over Hamilton Accies, Craig Levein met the media for his post-match press conference to discuss the team’s performance, and to offer individual praise to three of his summer signings who contributed to the victory.
On the team’s performance:
“I wasn’t quite as relaxed as I am now after that first ten to fifteen minutes. We didn’t start the game particularly well, but in hindsight it’s probably not a bad thing that we had to dig in and turn the scoreline around. That makes us feel good about the game panned out. We played well on occasions in the second half, I’d say.
“I feel like we can score plenty of goals. No disrespect to the teams we’ve played in the past few weeks, but we’ll play stronger teams in the weeks ahead, so I’m not getting too carried away. However, I feel we can improve and do better this season than last.”
On Steven MacLean’s contribution to to the club since signing:
“Macca’s just fantastic. I’ve always liked him as a player, going back to when he was a kid at Rangers. He’s a very clever player, and he links the play, which makes him a good foil for both Uche and Kyle. I didn’t expect him to play so many games, particularly on astroturf, but I’m finding it hard to leave him out.
“He’s been pestering me to play. It’s not like I’ve told him he needs to play, he’s just been pestering me constantly and currently, I have no reason not to play him if he wants to be involved because he’s contributing a lot.”
On Peter Haring’s emergence as a goalscoring threat and a box-to-box midfielder:
“We signed Peter as a centre-half, but he’s been playing as at attacking midfielder all through pre-season. I thought he showed great composure to find the corner through all those bodies in the box for his second goal. I love him, he’s such an honest and wholehearted player in the tackle, and winning headers. He’s low maintenance and a manager’s dream.”
On a mixed afternoon for Uche Ikpeazu, who struggled with refereeing decisions but claimed a superb assist late on:
“The problem for Uche is that he’s stronger than everybody else. That’s just a fact. Sometimes he’s being penalised just for being stronger than the opposition. I get that it’s hard sometimes for referees to figure out what’s going on, if he’s holding onto a player or just holding him off. but he’ll keep doing it because his game is about linking play.
“He does OK in the air, but his play is better on the ground. I told him that I was just as pleased with him today as I was last week when he scored twice, because he contributed to someone else scoring. Assists are just as valuable as goals in our team.”