CRAIG LEVEIN is certain the future is bright for Hearts.
However, he has urged his players to become legends in the present.
Levein watched his Jambos book a place in the Scottish Cup final on Saturday, sweeping aside Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3-0 at Hampden courtesy of strikes from Uche Ikpeazu, John Souttar and a Sean Clare penalty.
The experienced coach has not been immune to criticism this campaign, with some supporters irked by the downturn in form that followed a blistering start to the season and a perceived agricultural playing style.
However, Levein is adamant he has the best interests of the club at heart and hopes a triumph in the showpiece in May will serve as a vindication of the work that has been done in the near five years since the Tynecastle outfit emerged from administration.
“All I want for this club is the best,” he continued. “I’ve spent five years trying my damnedest and trying as hard as I can to get everything on the football side of things in a good place.
“Behind the scenes, the football department is as well run as any I have ever been involved with. The building blocks are in place for the future.
“However, for that to be seen, sometimes, you need to do something on the park that tells people: not only will things be good in the future, but things are also going to be good now.
“That’s what we need to do when it comes to this match [the final].”
While he did not get his name on the scoresheet, Levein reserved special praise for ex-Inverness winger Jake Mulraney, hailing the Irish winger for a ‘complete performance’ against his former employers.
“I was so pleased for young Jake,” Levein told Hearts TV. “He’s not the most confident of players and has taken a bit of time to find his feet. He has shown over spells this season that he can be quite electrifying when he is in possession but I thought Saturday was a complete performance.”