First Team

Levein pleased with kids despite defeat

19th May 2019

Craig Levein was left pleased with the performance of his youngters after their narrow defeat to Celtic at Parkhead.

16-year-old Aaron Hickey made his first start for the club, with fellow teens Connor Smith and Andy Irving also starting in the final Ladbrokes Premiership match of the season.

"I thought the kids did well and we've been here and played a lot worse than that," Craig said. "I'm obviously disappointed with losing the game and Olly being injured.

"I was really pleased with [Hickey]. All three of them, Andy Irving too. Connor [Smith] is going to be a fantastic player."

Unfortunately Hearts did not get through the game unscathed as Olly Lee picked up a nasty-looking knee injury just a week before the Scottish Cup final.

"He twisted his knee, it doesn't sound too great," the gaffer said. "He wasn't supposed to start today but Harry Cochrane was ill yesterday and no better today so I had to put Olly in. He felt he could be okay when he tried again but still felt it was sore."

It adds to the doubts over Uche Ikpeazu, Peter Haring and Arnaud Djoum who face a race to prove their fitness ahead of the Hampden spectacle.

"We've got a few on the sidelines but I'm hoping Uche, Peter and Arnaud are going to be fit for the game next week. They're all important players."