First Team

Repeat performance required

11th September 2017

Craig Levein wants his players to repeat performance levels of Aberdeen match in this weekend's game against Hamilton.

Craig Levein watched his players put in a commanding performance in Saturday’s draw against Aberdeen, and has challenged them to build upon it this weekend.

Only the excellent Joe Lewis in the Aberdeen goal prevented Hearts from taking a deserved three points in the Jambos’ first of three home games at BT Murrayfield, with the ‘keeper making several fine stops before the woodwork came to his rescue to deny Isma.

Attentions now turn to this weekend’s Ladbrokes Premiership match away to Hamilton Academical, and the gaffer wants his side not to waste the building blocks that have been put in place.

Speaking to HeartsTV, he said: “It would be a travesty to put in that amount of effort and play so well to then go into the game against Hamilton this week and not turn up.

“That’s my biggest concern, and I have to make sure the players are as ready for this match against Hamilton as they were for the Aberdeen match.

“The way we played I was happy with, other than the first 20 minutes of the match.

“We didn’t quite deal with Aberdeen’s starting system, but once we got that sorted out we gradually grew into the game.

“I thought in the second half we were excellent.”

One way the team will prepare for the trip to the Superseal Stadium is by spending some of this week training on Oriam’s artificial surfaces.

The men in maroon have enjoyed mixed fortunes on Hamilton’s plastic pitch in recent years, and Craig hopes training on one towards the end of the week will help remind his players that the surface will be much different to what they’re used to come Saturday.

“Thursday and Friday we’ll train on the astro and get a feel for it,” he said. “Each artificial surface is different so the one we have at Oriam is not exactly the same as Hamilton’s, but it does put it into the players’ heads that we’re playing on a different surface.’

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