Hearts boss insists it will take time for Ryo Meshino to find his feet


Hearts manager Craig Levein admits it could be a month before the supporters see the best of Ryo Meshino.

The Japanese attacking midfielder made his debut as a 31st substitute in Saturday’s frustrating 2-2 draw with Hamilton following his much-hyped arrival on a season-long loan from Manchester City just 24 hours earlier.

Meshino was thrown into the action earlier than expected due to Euan Henderson’s back complaint and showed some neat touches.

The 21-year-old only joined the English champions from Gamba Osaka for a seven-figure fee at the start of last month and Levein insists it will take time for the playmaker to find his feet.

Levein, who faced furious calls from the fans to step down during the weekend’s stalemate, said: “There were some moments there and you could see a little bit of magic. 

“He’s been built up quite a fair bit but when he’s been here for a month or so you’ll definitely see the best of him.

“The problem for me was whether to initially start him or take him off the bench. 

“I thought travelling all the way from Japan, and then Friday was a bit of a circus. 

“He trained for an hour and then had to hang around for three of four hours doing all the media stuff. 

“On the top of flying in from Japan, I lent towards the cautious route rather than throwing him in. He reported on Saturday morning and said he was a little tired so I didn’t start him for that reason. He was quite keen to start.

“I didn’t expect him to have to go on as early as he did.

“In an ideal situation when you’re bringing on a new player you would like to bring them on at two or three zero and allow him to get a pleasant experience.”

Levein had to contend with yet more injury woe on Saturday, as well as winger Henderson being forced off after suffering back spasms, left back Aidy White was replaced in the 66th minute by Jamie Brandon with a glute muscle complaint.

The Gorgie side had gone into the game without John Souttar, Michael Smith, Peter Haring, Jamie Walker, Joel Pereira, Craig Wighton and Ben Garuccio.

Levein added: “ Aidy’s glute was tight and I kind of expected that with him being out of for couple of years, and he was toiling. 

“He’s had loads of little niggles, although he came off as a precaution.

“We lost Euan to a back spasm.”

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