First Team

Slow start frustrates Levein

23rd January 2019

Craig Levein was left frustrated by Hearts' slow start out of the blocks which cost his side dearly in their 2-1 loss to Dundee at Tynecastle.

The Jambos fell 1-0 down to a Genseric Kusunga goal before Jesse Curran's own goal before half-time levelled the scores, but Dundee were able to seal the win through debutant Andrew Nelson's second-half strike.

"It was very frustrating," Craig said after the game. "I thought we started the game poorly and that was the most frustrating part. We have been starting games fairly well recently and we gave Dundee a bit of belief by not being quite at it, which we usually are right at the start of matches."

The manager made the decision to substitute new signing David Vanecek on the half-hour mark, bringing Steven MacLean on in his place.

"In all honesty the whole first half, until Steven MacLean came on, I felt it was as poor as we've played this season."

"Steven came on and we did liven up a little bit. I thought we were much better in the second-half. Of course, we make a critical error when we were well on top of the match and its ended up costing us."

Conor Shaughnessy's slip at the back put Craig Curran through on goal and he squared to Nelson who finished well into the bottom corner.

"I felt at that point we were on top in the game," Craig said. "We had some decent chances and if we had showed some composure in the last third I think we would have scored a few goals tonight. We got anxious the longer the game went on and we ended up panicking a little bit and some of our play in the last third was a bit scrappy."

Despite the result, Hearts were able to create clear-cut chances and Aidan Keena was unlucky not to score on his first start for the club.

"We should be expecting to create chances at home," the manager added. "I would hope that we could put more chances away than we've put away tonight. They certainly had enough opportunities.

"I don't think we played fantastically well tonight. We had spells where we got it going for a wee while but we didn't do anything with any great sustained pressure and that was a little bit frustrating as well."

Watch Craig's post-match interview on HeartsTV by clicking here.