First Team

Craig: Players Need to Pull Their Weight

23rd February 2019

Craig Levein wants his players to start pulling their weight before an important run of fixtures that sees the Jambos face Celtic and a Scottish Cup quarter-final.

The manager was left frustrated after his side's 1-1 draw with St Mirren on Saturday afternoon at Tynecastle, in which Clevid Dikamona scored his first goal for the club before a Sean Clare own-goal levelled the scoreline. 

"It's almost like 'well that's them back, we should be winning, without doing anything.' That's not what happens. Everbody has to pull their weight," said the gaffer.

"All the injured players coming back, they can be the main players for us but it requires everybody to do what they need to do.  If you come into a game thinking we've got Peter or Uche back, we should win... it's not as simple as that."

The game was not one for the memory books after a first-half devoid of many chances.

"We didn't start the game particularly well today and brought pressure on ourselves," Craig said. "We didn't pass the ball quickly or accurately enough. St Mirren came to do what they came to do. They did the same against Aberdeen and they've done the same to us today so all credit to them.

The manager offered an explanation of what went wrong for his side as they failed to find an end product for much of the match.

"When a team does defend deeper, and you have a lot of the ball in front of them, the ball needs to move quickly and it didn't move quickly. Also, it wasn't accurate enough.

"When we got in good positions to cross the ball, we didn't put the ball in, other than Jake [Mulraney] a few times. We didn't cross the ball enough. All the space was in the wide areas and we just didn't make the right decisions.

"When you stop crossing it, the guys that make runs to get in the box to score think well i've made four runs, no cross came in, I'll do something different this time. Alongside that we had some players that didnt play well, and the recipe isnt a good one."

The result leaves the Jambos in fifth place - still just two points behind Kilmarnock. They take on Celtic on Wednesday night at Tynecastle, before travelling to Glasgow next Monday to face Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup.