Levein challenges Hearts to grind out more results on road

Hearts manager Craig Levein is keen to build momentum
Hearts manager Craig Levein is keen to build momentum
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Craig Levein has challenged Hearts to maintain momentum and extend their unbeaten run at Dundee this weekend.

The Edinburgh club haven’t lost in three games since Levein returned to the dugout and the manager wants that sequence increased to four at Dens Park. Levein admits Hearts are having to grind out results at present as they continue playing away from home whilst Tynecastle is redeveloped. He acknowledged they can play more attractive football but is prioritising results until their spiritual home is ready early in November.

Draws against Aberdeen and Partick Thistle either side of a determined win at Hamilton have lifted confidence levels in the early weeks of Levein’s tenure. He is urging his squad to stay focused and continue in that vein against Dundee, who sit four points below seventh-placed Hearts in the Ladbrokes Premiership table.

“We just want to keep it going. We’re trying to build momentum but it’s not easy without the comfort of playing at home in front of our own fans, where the opposition feel a little bit fearful,” Levein told the Evening News.

“That generally is a comfort blanket for us but we don’t have it. This is a little bit more awkward than normal but I’ve been pleased with the boys and how they’ve adapted so far.

“The difficulty is that we don’t have the benefit of a home fixture every second week. When you have that, it allows your confidence to grow. Teams are generally quite wary about coming to Tynecastle and that gives us an advantage. We don’t have that boost every second week so we’re kind of grinding stuff out just now until we can get back to that comfort of playing at home.

“The effort of the players has gone up to enable us to win games we might have drawn or to draw games we might have lost. From that point of view, we’ve done quite well.

“We can play better but I think a lot of that is a consequence of not having the comfort of a home game every second week.”