First Team

We're all supporting Kyle

28th September 2017

Craig Levein says everyone is supporting Kyle Lafferty as he hopes to have him back for Dens Park on Saturday.

Craig Levein believes that the support of his teammates will help Kyle Lafferty to overcome his gambling addiction.

The striker bravely went public with his battle on Tuesday, which has seen messages of support for the Northern Ireland frontman flood in from the football community.

Craig hopes that by taking this first step, Kyle can become a stronger individual and continue to display his talents on the pitch.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference today, Craig said: “He’s been good. I think the overwhelming feeling has been one of that he’s been very brave to do what he’s done.

“He’s been very well supported by a lot of people. It’s a terrible addiction and we’re all hopeful that he can overcome. He’s certainly approaching things now with the right attitude for sure.

“It must have been difficult for him. He turns up here every single day with a smile on his face and is the life and soul of the dressing room.

“The players have really taken to him as a person, but it must have had some impact inside, and we’re hoping this first step will enable him to enjoy his life a little bit better as well.

“For his sake, let’s hope that he can get rid of the addiction and if he can do that and feel good about himself then I think his performances on the park will be improved as well, but that’s just a guess.”

The gaffer hopes to be able to call on Kyle’s services this weekend against Dundee after the 30-year-old missed last week’s draw with Partick Thistle through injury.

Craig revealed Kyle has suffered a minor setback through illness but is still confident he will be available for the Dens Park clash.

“Kyle had a bit of a sickness bug yesterday and he’s not in until this afternoon but I’m hopeful he’ll be fine,” he said. “I expect to see him play on Saturday.

“Arnaud Djoum’s out for a while, as you know. Don Cowie’s got a tight hamstring, I don’t know how (bad)…we’ll see.”

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