First Team

Opportunities can knock

2nd November 2018

Craig Levein has told his players they will need to cut out any mistakes and take their chances when they come if Hearts are to secure a victory at Celtic Park tomorrow.

The Jambos face Celtic less than a week after the two sides met in the Betfred Cup semi-final at Murrayfield. The champions ran out 3-0 winners after punishing the men in maroon for some defensive lapses, and the manager knows his side must be at the top of their game in Glasgow tomorrow if they are to come away with all three points.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference this morning, Craig said: “There’s no doubt that making mistakes against good teams is not a good idea.

“We’ve done that in two high profile matches recently. Cutting out the errors is obviously something that gives us a better chance of winning.

“But we’re human beings, aren’t we? Sometimes people do silly things.

“Against the better teams you tend to get punished for it. Sometimes when you’re playing opposition at not quite the same standard you can get away with it.

“We need to cut down the mistakes, we need to be diligent in our work and we need to take any opportunities that come our way.

“Any time that I’ve been involved in beating the Old Firm, it’s come through those things.

“We seem to be quite good at doing that at home, it would be good if we could get a victory away from home against one of the two teams. As soon as possible would be nice.”

Saturday’s meeting will be game number five in two weeks for the Jam Tarts. The aforementioned Betfred Cup loss was preceded by wins over Aberdeen and Dundee, while midweek saw a feisty Edinburgh derby end in a stalemate.

Craig has allayed any fears, however, that his players may be exhausted heading into this weekend’s game and believes they are still reaping the benefits of the hard hours put in during pre season.

When asked if there was a danger of his side heading into the match drained after the Hibs draw, he replied: “As a player, I don’t remember thinking as deeply as that. I always looked forward to the next match.

“There are loads of situations in football where you feel tired after playing a lot of high intensity matches, but the work you do in pre-season and the training that you do every day, and the matches that you play in up to this point get you ready to go again. That’s what we’ll be ready to do.”

Craig’s pre-match press conference is available to watch in full now on HeartsTV by clicking here.