Craig Levein insists repeat of sloppy first-half display against Cowdenbeath will not be tolerated against Inverness as Hearts eye top spot

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BY ALAN TEMPLE at TYNECASTLE – @CCP_Sport

CRAIG LEVEIN insists Hearts would have drawn a blank against seven men if their first-half showing against Cowdenbeath had persisted.

The Jambos boss was delighted with the way his side blew away the Blue Brazil after the break, taking advantage of Martin Scott’s red card to claim a 5-0 triumph, courtesy of goals from Steven MacLean, Uche Ikpeazu, Peter Haring, Steven Naismith and Michael Smith.

Nevertheless, he was irked by their showing prior to the interval, rueing a lack of urgency and precision.

The margin of victory ultimately means Hearts will usurp Group C leaders Inverness – coached by Jambos icon John Robertson – with a win at Tynecastle on Sunday.

However, Levein knows that any repeat of their malaise in the first 45 minutes last night could be costly.

“It was hugely frustrating in the first half. Our new pitch is great – but our passing was really slow and sloppy,” rued Levein. “We were playing the ball behind people, meaning they had to stop and turn around and, by then, Cowdenbeath had shut up shop.

“We didn’t move the ball quickly enough to get around the sides and put the ball in the box.

“The difference between the first half and the second half was that speed. If Cowdenbeath had seven men in the first half, we still wouldn’t have scored!

“Thankfully, the second half was so much better.

“We wanted to still have a chance to qualify, and we do, but we know it will not be easy against Inverness and we will need to play like we did in the second half – and a long way from how we did in the first.”

 
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