First Team

Duo on brink of return

14th September 2017

Craig Levein has revealed that Buaben and Smith-Brown are on the verge of returning to first team action.

Craig Levein hopes to have Prince Buaben and Ashley Smith-Brown available for selection on Saturday when Hearts travel to Hamilton Academical.

Buaben was forced to sit out of last weekend’s draw with Aberdeen with a hamstring injury, while Smith-Brown has suffered a lengthy lay off since joining the club in the summer but he completed an hour of the U20s’ defeat at St Mirren in midweek, and Craig believes both could be in contention for this weekend’s game at the Superseal Stadium.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference this morning, he said: “We’ve got one or two little niggles but I don’t think we’ve got anything that will keep anybody out.

“Prince wasn’t available last week but he looks like he might be coming back to full fitness.

“Ash played an hour on Tuesday against St Mirren in the U20s, so he looks like he’s coming to the boil as well. It’s good to get another two players.”

The Jambos are set to be backed by a sizeable travelling support in Hamilton with around 1,300 tickets sold so far. Craig thinks this can benefit his side and has revealed that the team have been putting in the effort on the training pitch, so much so that they recorded their highest training stats of the season earlier in the week.

“We’ve trained well this week and worked extremely hard,” he said. “The training figures on Tuesday were the highest this season.

“Hamilton are a tough team to play against and we haven’t won there in a while.

“They’re very well organised and I’m a big fan of Martin Canning and the people at Hamilton.

“They were going through a tough spell last season and they stuck by him and I like to see that. He’s got the team heading in the right direction.

“It’ll be a hard game for us. What will be encouraging, I know, is that we have sold a fair number of tickets and there will be quite a big Hearts support travelling through and that will help.”

Craig’s press conference is available to watch in full now on HeartsTV.