First Team

One out, one in for Saturday

20th July 2018

Craig Levein will welcome Steven Naismith back into the fold but is preparing to rest Steven Maclean against Raith Rovers

Craig Levein will welcome back Steven Naismith into his squad for tomorrow’s Betfred Cup match against Raith Rovers, but is preparing to rest Steven MacLean.

Naismith returns after serving a suspension carried over from last season and will go straight into the first-team squad for the Bayview encounter.

It’s a case of one in and one out, however, with the manager resting MacLean after the striker played nearly an hour in midweek on astroturf.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Craig said: “Steven MacLean won’t be involved on Saturday.

“He pestered me for a week before the game the other night and he played, got a goal and I feel that was good for him but I don’t want to push my luck and play him on astroturf again on Saturday.

“We do get Steven Naismith back. He was suspended for the game (against Cove Rangers).

“That’s good. It’s pleasing that he’s involved.”

Craig also revealed that Harry Cochrane has suffered a minor setback in his bid to return from injury, and he will wait to see how Uche Ikpeazu responds to treatment for a groin injury before deciding if he will feature against Raith Rovers.

“Harry started pre-season fantastically well,” he said. “He did all the running and unfortunately got an illness, then a head knock, then he got an ankle injury and now he’s got another ankle injury.

“It’s nothing serious but he’s behind a little bit because of these different, annoying things that have happened.

“Uche’s groin was a bit tight after training yesterday. I don’t know how that is today. We’ll see.”

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