First Team

Youngsters' time to shine

10th July 2019

Craig Levein has revealed that he will dip into the transfer market again more for a new midfielder but until he does he has no qualms about giving the club’s younger players game time.

Hearts kick-off their competitive season when they host Dundee United on Friday night in the Betfred Cup and will do so without the injured Peter Haring.

Having also lost the services of Arnaud Djoum, who has left the club under freedom of contract, a gap in the middle of the park has now appeared.

Relaxed about the situation, the manager sees it as an opportunity to blood more youngsters into the first team while he continues the process of searching for a new recruit.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference today, Craig said: “Peter is still suffering from this pelvic problem. He’s away down south tomorrow to get another investigation and we’ll get the results of that towards the end of the week.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll get to the bottom of it. That’s basically the problem; finding out exactly what we need to fix. Once we’ve got that then we can get on with it.

 

“There is also the added complication of not being 100% sure of whether Arnaud was staying or leaving. We now know the answer to that. That probably reinforces my thoughts that we need another midfield player.

“We’ve got enough cover at the moment for me to feel that we can go into competitive matches without worrying too much.

“Andy Irving, I think, would be more likely to play in those kind of deeper roles that Arnaud and Peter play in. Andy’s in contention (for Friday). He did well towards the end of last season and also he’s done reasonably well in pre-season.

“At this minute in time I’m not in a rush to bring another player in. I want to give some time to Harry Cochrane and Andy and also in the forward positions, if people are now up to speed then Anthony McDonald and Dario Zanatta can be involved as well.

“What I don’t want to do is heap pressure on them. I like to be able to put the young players in and out, based on the rest of the team and the support they get from the positions around about them.

“Relying solely on the young players is never a good thing but having the opportunity to choose which games they go in and which games they come out is much better.”

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