Hearts boss Craig Levein praises new boy and insists he is already a favourite with players and fans

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Hearts boss Craig Levein insists new signing Ross Callachan has made an outstanding start to life at the Gorgie club.

After being name the sponsor’s man of the match on his debut in the goal-less draw with Aberdeen, the former Raith Rovers captain scored the opening goal in Saturday’s morale-boosting 2-1 win at Hamilton.

Callachan signed a two-year contract with his boyhood heroes in a £50,000 move on deadline day and has made a seamless step up to the Premiership.

Levein is delighted with the impact the 24-year-old has made and believes he is already becoming a favourite with the players and the supporters.

He said: “That’s two matches and Ross has played two very good games.

“He’s obviously got a connection with the Hearts supporters as you can see – and he’s got a connection with the rest of the players.

“They love his endeavour and his willingness to do the unselfish running.

“His role at times was to arrive late in the box and the two strikers created space for him – it was perfect.

“It’s brilliant for him to get on the scoresheet so early in his Hearts career.”

Goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin has also justified his status as the new number one ahead of Jack Hamilton after joining last month.

The former Burton Albion shot-stopper pulled off a stunning save to deny Accies midfielder Ali Crawford an equaliser from a free-kick on Saturday.

Levein added: “I thought it was an excellent save although the boys were saying it was for the TV.

“I thought he got across his goal well, he had a little groin problem and was struggling with his kicking but when we needed him he was there; when we need him to catch crosses that might have put pressure on us he was there and I thought he was excellent.”

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