Hearts boss Craig Levein eases himself back into football following health scare


Hearts manager Craig Levein eased himself back into work on Monday after taking in the club’s Reserve Cup derby victory over Hibs.

Levein was among the interested observers at the indoor match at the club’s Oriam training base and looked well as he chatted to former Hearts boss and defender Gary Locke, now a club ambassador, and head of coach education Darren Murray.

The 53-year-old took a break from work after undergoing urgent medical treatment for a heart problem on the morning of Monday, August 27.

Leven tweeted three days later to say that he intended to return to the dugout for Saturday’s trip to Motherwell as the early Premiership leaders attempt to rack up a fifth straight league win.

Assistant manager Austin MacPhee oversaw the September 1 victory over St Mirren in Levein’s absence.

It is not certain yet whether former Scotland boss Levein intends to return to work on the training pitch in the coming days.

With MacPhee currently on international duty with Northern Ireland, first team coaches Jon Daly and Liam Fox will also play their part this week.

Levein would have been pleased at watching forward Craig Wighton, a recent arrival from Dundee, inspire the reserves to 2-1 derby victory in an ill-tempered clash that saw both teams have a player sent off.

Wighton was involved in setting up Danny Amankwaa for the opening goal after 16 minutes before Hearts defender Chris Hamilton was shown a straight red card three minutes later for a challenge on Fraser Murray.

Murray then levelled two minutes before the break before Wighton showed great skill inside the box to fire the ten men back in front in the 63rd minute.

Hibs defender Josh Campbell received a second yellow card seconds later for a challenge on Harry Cochrane.

Congolese international defender Clevid Dikamona also made his first appearance in a maroon jersey after joining the club on an initial one year deal at the start of the month.

MacPhee, meanwhile, admits he hopes the team will be even better when they return to league action against Stephen Robinson’s side.

Despite their promising start, MacPhee insists there is no chance the coaching staff nor the players will rest on their laurels ahead of the trip to Fir Park.

He said: “It’s important during the international break that we look at ways to improve, we can look at the previous performances.

“I was delighted that there were still some small frustrations against St Mirren, we were disappointed to lose a goal from a throw-in, we made a mistake there and we always look to improve.

“It was nice of course to be top of the league going into the break and it’s somewhere we want to try and stay for as long as we can.

“The fans have been magnificent and they feeling around the club is fantastic just now and it’s sooting we want to develop and keep that bond that helps us win.”

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