First Team

Craig: New boys won't be fazed

10th January 2019

Craig Levein hopes David Vanecek and Conor Shaughnessy slot seamlessly into his side as the Jambos continue their winter training camp in Spain.

The two January signings have spent the past couple of days getting to know their new teammates at the club’s warm weather training base in Murcia, and could pull on the maroon shirt for the first time when Hearts play SC Lokeren in tomorrow’s friendly encounter.

The manager believes the pair won’t be fazed by their new surroundings as they bid to impress at the opposite ends of the pitch.

Speaking to HeartsTV in Spain, Craig said: “David’s a target man. He’s got a lot of good attributes; he’s obviously very good in the air, he’s a good one-touch finisher, he’s good at attacking balls from crosses and he can hold the ball up.

“Hopefully, with all of these things, he comes in and hits the ground running, gets a goal or two early on and his career takes off.

“That’s always the question when you bring a new player in; can they get off to a good start and then their confidence flows from there.

“So I’m hopeful. He’s an experienced player and I certainly don’t think he’ll be fazed by coming to Hearts at all.

“The thing is, he’s had four weeks off whereas everybody else has had a week off so he’s a little bit behind, fitness-wise, but we’ll work on that this week.

“Conor is not exactly the same player as Jimmy Dunne, of course. They’re both tall lads and they’re athletic and aggressive.

“If he can do as good a job as Jimmy did for us then I’ll be happy, and if he can do a better job than Jimmy did then I’ll be delighted.”

One player who didn’t travel to Spain was Peter Haring. The Austrian stayed behind to have a double hernia operation after playing through the pain barrier in recent months.

Craig revealed the operation was a success and he’s hoping the influential midfielder is back in action sooner rather than later.

“Peter is doing good,” he said. “The operation was successful. The recovery time for that is four to six weeks, and obviously I’m hoping its closer to four because he’s an important players for us but the operation went well and that’s the main thing.”