Hearts boss looking for more of the same against Hibs


Hearts manager Craig Levein has urged his players to replicate the performance from their last defeat to Hibs when they travel to Easter Road on Sunday.

However, the former Scotland boss admits this time the Tynecastle side must make any dominance count when they are top.

Hibs came from behind to seal their first victory in Gorgie for six years on April 6 after a Daryl Horgan brace either side of the break cancelled out Peter Haring’s header.

But Levein saw his team pass up several chances in front of goal both before and after a strong start to the match and insists they must be more ruthless if they are bounce back from last weekend’s dispiriting 3-1 set-back to Rangers.

Levein said: “It takes care of itself. I was happy with the performance the last time we played here and if we could get more goals I’d be happier. We’ll be ready for that.

“I’m glad we’ve got another big game to go into, we’ll dissect the performance against Rangers in the early part of the week as we might play the same way down there, with the same intention anyway.

“We’ll wait and see but I’m looking forward to the Hibs match. 

“If we can do as well performance-wise when we played them here a couple of weeks ago I’ll be happy, as long as we score more goals.”

Scottish Cup finalists Hearts have lost four of their last five league matches and now trail Hibs in the league by three points.

However, Levein, who saw fans turn on him both during and after the recent defeat to their Edinburgh counterparts, insists there is no issue with the players’ confidence.

He added: “Looking at it we have to make sure we do better next time out. 

“We’ve got four big matches and then the cup final after that so there is still plenty to play for. 

“There’s places to play for as well so I’m not worried about morale.”

Levein, meanwhile, admits he withdrew defender Michael Smith after 83 minutes against Rangers because he was worried the Northern Ireland cap would aggravate the thigh injury that recently left him sidelined for two months.

Levein added: “I was a little bit concerned that he was getting a bit tired. 

“If his thigh was to flare up again it would be a major problem for us, I took him off as a precaution.”

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