{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"hearts","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/craig-levein-explains-why-hearts-fans-were-right-to-boo-team-off-at-hamilton-1-4890874","id":"1.4890874","articleHeadline": "Craig Levein explains why Hearts fans were right to boo team off at Hamilton","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552908887000 ,"articleLead": "

Craig Levein admitted Hearts were as poor as they have been in Saturday’s first half at Hamilton and could not complain about supporters jeering. A laboured first 45 minutes cost the Edinburgh club in Lanarkshire as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat, with travelling fans audibly upset at full-time.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890873.1552908883!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein gives out orders from the sidelines. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Manager Levein was as annoyed as supporters with the performance, particularly an insipid first half in which the Hamilton defender Aaron McGowan struck the game’s only goal. Hearts dominated the second period but did not test Gary Woods in the Accies goal.

Levein told the Evening News he was struggling for positives afterwards and conceded supporters were entitled to criticise. “We get booed from our supporters when we don’t do well. On Saturday, we didn’t do well. They are entitled to do that. I’m not happy with the performance so they are entitled not to be happy with it as well,” he said.

“I’m struggling to find things that are really positive. A few players played alright, like Arnaud Djoum and Peter Haring. Craig Wighton was okay when he came on.

“We didn’t do enough to cause Hamilton problems and that’s what annoyed me. The first half was as poor as we have been. The second half was much better, we had more control of the match and moved the ball a bit quicker.

“We did cross the ball but the accuracy was off and Hamilton defended like a team who really needed the points.

“The game had 0-0 written all over it with the way we played. I can’t remember our goalkeeper, Bobby Zlamal, doing anything apart from coming off his line sharply once or twice. It was hell of a frustrating watching the slow tempo we had, particularly in the first half.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890873.1552908883!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890873.1552908883!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein gives out orders from the sidelines. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein gives out orders from the sidelines. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890873.1552908883!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014352967001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/the-major-football-rule-changes-that-will-impact-hearts-and-hibs-next-season-1-4891038","id":"1.4891038","articleHeadline": "The major football rule changes that will impact Hearts and Hibs next season","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552898922000 ,"articleLead": "

A number of changes have been made to the laws of the game ahead of the 2019/2020 season which will impact the Edinburgh clubs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891036.1552900181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibernian's Florian Kamberi and Hearts' Zdenek Zlamal exchange words as referee Andrew Dallas intervines. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker"} ,"articleBody": "

The International FA Board (The IFAB) met earlier this month in Aberdeen for their AGM where they outlined the amendments, including three which were approved following two years of experiments and consultation.

The changes and clarifications range from handball to over celebrating as The IFAB seek to give players, coaches and supporters greater clarity.


The handball rule is one which provokes plenty of confusion and controversy. Now more situations have been outlined where handball should and should not be penalised.

A deliberate handball remains an offence, and now the following situations, even if accidental, will be a free kick:

• the ball goes into the goal after touching an attacking player’s hand/arm

• a player gains control/possession of the ball after it has touches their hand/arm and then scores, or creates a goal-scoring opportunity

• the ball touches a player’s hand/arm which has made their body unnaturally bigger

• the ball touches a player’s hand/arm when it is above their shoulder (unless the player has deliberately played the ball which then touches their hand/arm)

The following will not usually be a free kick, unless they are one of the above situations:

• the ball touches a player’s hand/arm directly from their own head/body/foot or the head/body/foot of another player who is near.

• the ball touches a player’s hand/arm which is close to their body and has not made their body unnaturally bigger

•if a player is falling and the ball touches their hand/arm when it is between their body and the ground to support the body (but not extended to make the body bigger)

•If the goalkeeper attempts to ‘clear’ (release into play) a throw-in or deliberate kick from a team-mate but the ‘clearance’ fails, the goalkeeper can then handle the ball.

Goal kick

One of the biggest changes is to the goal kick. No longer will the ball have to be played outside the box before it is deemed in play. Players from either side can touch the ball inside the box.

IFAB said: “The experiment that at a goal kick the ball is in play once it is kicked, and does not have to leave the penalty area, has created a faster and more dynamic/constructive restart to the game. It has reduced the time ‘lost/wasted’ including stopping the tactic of ‘wasting’ time when a defender deliberately plays the ball before it leaves the penalty area knowing that all that will happen is the goal kick will be retaken.”

Opposition players have to be outside the box when the kick is taken, however.


Another of the big changes sees substitutions required to leave the field of play by the nearest point on the touchline/goal line - unless the referee indicates the player can leave quickly/immediately at the halfway line or a different point because of safety, injury etc.

The alteration will stop players from time-wasting.

Drop ball

The IFAB have sought to do away with contested drop balls. If play is stopped inside the penalty area the ball will be dropped to the goalkeeper, while outside the box it will be dropped to a member of the team who last touched the ball at the point it was played.

In all cases players from both sides need to be at least 4m (4.5 yards) away from the player who receives the ball.

It was felt that the “current dropped ball procedure often leads to a ‘manufactured’ restart which is ‘exploited’ unfairly (e.g. kicking the ball out for a throw-in deep in the opponents’ half) or an aggressive confrontation”.


Players will continued to be booked for over celebrating, for example removing the shirt. A yellow card will be shown even if the goal is disallowed.

Goalkeeper position on penalties

Goalkeepers are required to have at least part of one foot on/in line with the goal line when the kick is taken and cannot stand behind the line.

They are not allowed to be touching the goalposts/crossbar/nets.

Quick free kicks

Teams are now able to take a quick free-kick even if the offence is to be penalised by a yellow or red card. The referee can show the card at the next stoppage in play.

The IFAB state: “Occasionally, an attack is stopped by a cautionable (YC) or sending-off (RC) offence and the attacking team takes a quick free kick which restores the ‘lost’ attack; it is clearly ‘unfair’ if this ‘new’ attack is stopped to issue the YC/RC. However, if the referee has distracted the offending team by starting the YC/RC procedure, the quick free kick is not allowed.”

Walls at free kicks

Attackers are not allowed to be within 1m (1yd) of a defensive wall of three or more. An offence from the attacker will result in an indirect free kick.

The IFAB believe that attackers can “often cause management problems and waste time. There is no legitimate tactical justification for attackers to be in the ‘wall’ and their presence is against the ‘spirit of the game’ and often damages the image of the game”.

Cards for coaches

Management staff can now be shown a yellow or red card if guilty of misconduct. If the “offender cannot be identified, the senior coach who is in the technical area at the time will receive” the card.


Teams who win the toss can choose to either take the kick-off or which goal to attack. Previously the only choice was which goal to attack.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4891036.1552900181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891036.1552900181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibernian's Florian Kamberi and Hearts' Zdenek Zlamal exchange words as referee Andrew Dallas intervines. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibernian's Florian Kamberi and Hearts' Zdenek Zlamal exchange words as referee Andrew Dallas intervines. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4891036.1552900181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1489591877499"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/we-weren-t-at-the-races-hearts-lament-slow-start-at-hamilton-1-4890872","id":"1.4890872","articleHeadline": "‘We weren’t at the races’: Hearts lament slow start at Hamilton","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552890600000 ,"articleLead": "

If Hearts are to reach the Europa League qualifying rounds, it will most definitely be via the hard route. A nonchalant start at Hamilton led to an insurmountable deficit and ultimately a defeat the Edinburgh club could ill-afford as they chase the Ladbrokes Premiership’s top four.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890871.1552837248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein, clearly frustrated, delivers orders"} ,"articleBody": "

“Everyone said it before the game: If you want to qualify for Europe, you’ve got to be winning these games. We haven’t done that,” said defender John Souttar. “I thought we did start too slowly. We tried to pass it, which worked at times. It’s one thing passing the ball but as a Hearts team you’ve got to win second balls, play better than your man and be more aggressive than your man. A lot of people didn’t do that on Saturday.

“If you get beat, it’s hard to get it out of your system. That will be tough now with the international break. It’s done now and we have to deal with it. We are getting down to the business end of the season and Saturday was a big chance for us.”

By full-time, Edinburgh rivals Hibs had closed to within two points of Hearts, who also lost ground on fourth-placed Kilmarnock in the league table. One thing normally guaranteed from Hearts is aggression, energy and a competitive edge at the beginning of a game. Those commodities were conspicuous by their absence in Lanarkshire. A tame opening handed Hamilton the initiative and they executed head coach Brian Rice’s gameplan perfectly.

“It’s the same every time at Hamilton,” explained Souttar. “They will fight and scrap and they’ve got a bit of quality, as you saw from the goal. We weren’t at the races. There were a number of things. We will have a look at the game and see where we thought it went wrong.”

Wing-back Aaron McGowan’s looping first-time finish nine minutes before the break settled this encounter. It was the Englishman’s first goal for Hamilton and helped their quest to avoid relegation.

Hearts’ passive start gave Accies encouragement and, when McGowan hooked Lennard Sowah’s cross home first time, it was no more than the hosts deserved. Rice has the team he inherited from Martin Canning playing decent football and they switched play swiftly from right flank to left before Sowah crossed for McGowan near the back post.

Hearts assumed control of the second half and introduced three forwards from the substitutes’ bench. David Vanecek had been recalled to the starting line-up and struck the crossbar near the interval. That wasn’t enough to prevent him being replaced by Uche Ikpeazu during the break.

Aidan Keena and Craig Wighton followed as manager Craig Levein threw every available weapon at the hosts. Cross after cross arrived in the Hamilton penalty area, where a three-man defence of Alex Gogic, Matt Kilgallon and Ziggy Gordon remained defiant. Hearts did plenty probing but did not test the opposition goalkeeper Gary Woods to any real extent. They managed only one shot on target all afternoon.

“It was frustrating,” admitted Levein. “We were never under any real pressure at all in the match. In the first half, we didn’t do enough to get into the last third. We started the game very slowly and the tempo of our passing wasn’t enough to cause Hamilton any problems. Our passing was off and the level of competitive edge that we normally have was missing for some reason.

“In the second half, we controlled the game much better but didn’t create enough opportunities. Our final cross or final pass was lacking in quality. Hamilton had something to protect, which made it easier for them. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb.

“I don’t know why we started the game in a fashion that gave Hamilton some hope. We spoke before the game about second balls and things that are important when you go to Hamilton. We had been doing that stuff really well so it was frustrating.”

There were 1025 fans from Edinburgh. They let their displeasure be known during the match and at full-time. “That happens at home and away if we don’t play well. That’s something we will accept. I’m not going to make any complaint about that,” said Levein

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890871.1552837248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890871.1552837248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein, clearly frustrated, delivers orders","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein, clearly frustrated, delivers orders","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890871.1552837248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/hearts-are-s-e-hibs-fan-who-had-stroke-utters-first-words-in-four-months-1-4890933","id":"1.4890933","articleHeadline": "‘Hearts are s***e’: Hibs fan who had stroke utters first words in four months","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552849321000 ,"articleLead": "

A Hibs fan who had a stroke has told how he shocked nurses by uttering his first words in four months - mocking rival club Hearts.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890932.1552849728!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Hibs fan, 22, was rushed to hospital where scans revealed he had suffered a stroke and had a bleed on the brain caused by a blood clot the size of a 10p coin. Picture: SWNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Darren Thomson, 22, lost all feeling in the left side of his body just 15 minutes after he developed a blinding headache.

The Hibs fan was rushed to hospital where scans revealed he had suffered a stroke and had a bleed on the brain caused by a blood clot the size of a 10p coin.

He had two operations to help drain the excess fluid in his brain, but he still couldn’t speak for three months due to a tube down his throat then brain damage.

Darren heard his nurses talking about how they supported rival team Hearts - and shocked them by blurting out his first words: “Hearts are s***e”.

And five months since his first words the young man’s speech is getting better every day.

He’s still in a wheelchair but hoping to be on his feet to be his dad’s best man at his wedding later this year.

Darren said: “It was so scary not being able to speak.

“It’s so hard to put into words what it’s like not being able to speak.

“I was so confused, I didn’t even know what was happening or anything.

“But when I had a Hearts doctor looking after me, someone had said ‘what’s Hearts’ and I just said ‘Hearts are s***e’.

“It just came to me, I was so happy that I spoke out, everyone laughed.

“It felt so good to just hear my own voice again.”

Darren was at home on June 5 last year watching YouTube videos with his friend when he started to feel a headache at the back and right side of his head.

The Hibs fan thought nothing of it until minutes later when he couldn’t feel the left side of his body.

His friend, Michael Alison, 21, lifted up Darren’s left arm but when he let it go it fell to his side.

He called Darren’s dad Phil, 55, who rushed to the scene and took Darren to Borders General Hospital where medics discovered he had suffered a stroke and had severe bleeding in his brain.

He was transferred to the Edinburgh Western General were medics drained the cerebrospinal fluid - a clear and colourless body fluid found in the brain and spinal cord.

Phil, from Galashiels, Scottish Borders, said medics did not think “he would make it”.

He said: “His face had not dropped and he didn’t have slurred speech.

“I was just confused about what was actually happening because he was also struggling to stand up.

“That’s why I ended up taking him to the local hospital.

“But when he was finally rushed to the Edinburgh Western General Hospital no one knew if he would make it and even medics didn’t have faith in the operation going well.

“It was so frightening to hear all of these negative thoughts.”

After the operation, Darren was put into intensive care with a life support machine for around 12 weeks.

He was taken off life support but needed a second operation to fix the tubes in his brain that would help his body drain the excess fluid naturally.

This is because if the fluid builds up in the brain it could put pressure on the brain, which can damage it.

He went under the knife again in August and a few weeks after the operation the tube running down his throat was removed.

But he still couldn’t speak due to the brain damage.

He was then transferred to the stroke ward at the Borders General Hospital in October.

This is where Darren shocked nurses when he said his first words after the two operations.

Phil explained: “He made a funny comment about how terrible Hearts were.

“This was because most of the nurses there were all Hearts fans.

“We all couldn’t believe it, I just laughed.”

He was there for five weeks before he returned home in early December last year.

Darren uses a wheelchair and requires a carer 24/7, but said he remains positive due to his dad’s support.

Darren said: “My dad’s been unreal. I just think if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here today.

“I thank him so much for everything he has done”.

Phil, who is Darren’s full-time carer, said his son hopes he will be able to walk again for his wedding on June 15.

He said: “It’s difficult being a full-time carer but I’m a positive person.

“He does get frustrated when he can’t go out and see his friends but his brilliant, he doesn’t get down.

“He wants to stand at my wedding so we’ll see.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890932.1552849728!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890932.1552849728!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Hibs fan, 22, was rushed to hospital where scans revealed he had suffered a stroke and had a bleed on the brain caused by a blood clot the size of a 10p coin. Picture: SWNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Hibs fan, 22, was rushed to hospital where scans revealed he had suffered a stroke and had a bleed on the brain caused by a blood clot the size of a 10p coin. Picture: SWNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890932.1552849728!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/talking-point-hearts-need-to-stop-undoing-all-their-good-work-1-4890792","id":"1.4890792","articleHeadline": "Talking point: Hearts need to stop undoing all their good work","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552821468904 ,"articleLead": "

Neil McGlade looks back at what was a disappointing afternoon for Hearts in Hamilton.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890791.1552821687!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Christophe Berra is deflated after Hearts' defeat at Hamilton. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

There have been some really good performances by Hearts this term, but they are starting to fade into the distant memory. You could look at the 1-0 win over Celtic, the 3-0 victory at Dens Park, the 1-0 derby defeat of Hibs or more recently a fine 2-1 triumph at Kilmarnock. Then there's the 4-1 skelping they gave Hamilton on the opening day of the season. However, they are all being diluted by recent insipid displays, not least in South Lanarkshire on Saturday when they meekly lost 1-0 to the same side they obliterated back in August.

Yes, Steven Naismith was unavailable yesterday and Hearts were playing their third match in a week, but It was a tepid start from the visitors that didn’t get much better as the match wore on. Hearts didn’t show nearly enough in the final third to trouble a side who are scrapping it out to preserve their top-flight status.

Despite Craig Levein electing to play an attacking 4-3-3 against the club with the worst defensive record in the league – 61 goals conceded in 30 matches – opportunities were at a premium with just one shot on target registered in 90 minutes, David Vanecek seeing his close-range effort come back off the crossbar just minutes after Accies had got their noses in front.

But it was the manner in which his players started the match at Hamilton that really struck a chord with Levein. The Hearts boss was at a loss to explain his side’s display as he dissected the key moments of the contest afterwards. Following a battling 1-0 win at Dundee last weekend, not to mention a hard-fought 2-1 replay win over Partick Thistle to set up a Scottish Cup semi-final showdown with Inverness next month, Hearts were expected to build on those morale-boosting victories that have reignited their season and kick on.

Disappointingly, it was nowhere near the gung-ho attitude Hearts had shown on their last visit to the Hope CBD Stadium when they ran out deserved 4-1 winners. The likes of Peter Haring and Arnaud Djoum – two of the Capital side’s key performers this term – didn’t assert themselves nearly enough and came up short in their key individual battles.

Levein was unfazed by the chorus of boos following referee Willie Collum’s full-time whistle and insisted supporters were justified in airing their dismay.

But with the next game – the visit of Aberdeen – not until the end of the month, the international break will afford Levein and his players an opportunity to put the hard work in on the training ground as they bid rediscover some tempo and a high-octane performance. However, while some supporters appear to have thrown in the towel, it’s important to note Hearts are within 90 minutes of a place in this season’s Scottish Cup final and are just five points adrift of third-placed Aberdeen. Performances do need to improve and results like Saturday need to be eradicated, but it's still all to play for. A big April awaits ...

" ,"byline": {"email": "neil.mcglade@JPress.co.uk" ,"author": "Neil McGlade"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890791.1552821687!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890791.1552821687!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Christophe Berra is deflated after Hearts' defeat at Hamilton. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Christophe Berra is deflated after Hearts' defeat at Hamilton. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890791.1552821687!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/the-players-need-to-take-a-long-hard-look-at-themselves-hearts-fans-react-to-defeat-to-hamilton-1-4890690","id":"1.4890690","articleHeadline": "'The players need to take a long hard look at themselves' - Hearts fans react to defeat to Hamilton","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552768078000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts fans were not impressed with their side’s defeat at lowly Hamilton…

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890689.1552763290!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sean Clare cut a dejected figure at full-time. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

@KevinFraserPP: “Humiliating defeat. Getting worse by the week”

@marsh_ross: “If we didn't have such a good (lucky?) start to the season we'd be fighting relegation. Points dropped to St Mirren, Dundee and Hamilton is nowhere near good enough.”

@littlegoldfish8: “The players need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask themselves \"do I want to play for Hearts?\" because at this moment they don't deserve to wear the Jersey. They can't just turn up for the big games, fans pay hard-earned money to see them turn up in every game”

@tay_callum: “Not had a convincing result in months, struggled to beat a team near bottom of championship, can't beat tinpot clubs in Premiership, our scouts think signing has-been players who have no fitness is a great idea and we play the most boring football in the league”

@chewbaaarker: “Levein was let down by the players... Naisy wasn’t there to scream at ppl - need more like him (plus change payments structure to incentives of bonus)

“Wee Robo once said that “players can suffer from 4 bedroom detached house syndrome” ... cold day or not need to try harder!!”

@zicos1874: “We were better last season watching Harry and Anthony now I'm watching Mulraney and Vanecek. Put both keepers together and they still wouldn't get close to McLaughlin not got 1 player in the team that can play a pass to split their defence”

@crawf1980: “St Mirren - Loss * Dundee - Loss * Livingston - Pumped * St Mirren - Draw * Hamilton - Loss - can’t beat 4 of the bottom 5”

@supernashwan84: “Hearts’ result has such a major impact on everyone’s weekends. To lose so tamely is just not good enough”

" ,"byline": {"email": "neil.mcglade@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Neil McGlade"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890689.1552763290!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890689.1552763290!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sean Clare cut a dejected figure at full-time. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sean Clare cut a dejected figure at full-time. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890689.1552763290!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014352967001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/three-things-we-learned-from-hamilton-1-0-hearts-1-4890687","id":"1.4890687","articleHeadline": "Three things we learned from Hamilton 1 - 0 Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552761971435 ,"articleLead": "

Neil McGlade picks out three Hearts-related observations from a disappointing defeat at Hamilton

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890686.1552762109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Vanecek has still to get off the mark for Hearts. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Vanecek desperately needs a goal

The Czech striker was given another opportunity by Craig Levein to get off the mark in a maroon jersey since joining from Teplice in January. However, after another underwhelming 45 minutes in Hamilton, the wait for a goal rumbles on. Vanecek started through the middle and was flanked by Jake Mulraney and Callum Morrison, both players also struggled to impose themselves in what was a lacklustre opening from the visitors across the board. Vanecek did come agonisingly close to bulging the net just minutes before the half-time interval when his close-range effort came back off the crossbar. However, that was to be his last taste of the action as he failed to reappear for the second half. Confidence is key, something Vanecek is bereft of since arriving in the Capital.

No end product

Hearts threw caution to the wind in the second half with Levein electing to put on Aidan Keena and Craig Wighton – to support Ikpeazu up top – as the visitors sought an equaliser. But despite having so many forward-thinking players on the pitch at the one time – Sean Clare, Arnaud Djoum and Morrison were the other attacking outlets – Hearts failed to test Gary Woods, who couldn’t have envisaged his opponents’ lack of firepower prior to kick off. This must be a huge concern for the Hearts head coach given Hamilton’s well-documented defensive vulnerabilities, not to mention the Gorgie side's high hopes of a successful end to the season.

International break to gather thoughts

Hearts are now entering a make or break point in their season with four colossal games to come after the international break. Despite the defeat to Hamilton, both Aberdeen and Kilmarnock, third and fourth respectively, only gained a point in the race for a European spot. That is the one crumb of comfort Hearts can take.

However, with city rivals Hibs now breathing down their necks, things are really hotting up in the top six with just three Premiership matches to play before the split. With the visit of Aberdeen and Hibs and a trip to Ibrox beckoning in the next three weeks, Hearts must rediscover their mojo and start picking up points again or run the risk of their season petering out. There’s also the small matter of a Scottish Cup semi-final against Inverness to negotiate next month. The Jambos won’t want to go into that match at Hampden in poor form.

The international break may just have come at a good time for Levein and his players. Only time will tell.

" ,"byline": {"email": "neil.mcglade@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Neil McGlade"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890686.1552762109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890686.1552762109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Vanecek has still to get off the mark for Hearts. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Vanecek has still to get off the mark for Hearts. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890686.1552762109!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-head-coach-craig-levein-at-a-loss-to-explain-his-side-s-lack-of-creativity-in-defeat-at-hamilton-1-4890659","id":"1.4890659","articleHeadline": "Hearts head coach Craig Levein at a loss to explain his side's lack of creativity in defeat at Hamilton","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552758606000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts head coach Craig Levein bemoaned his side’s lack of cutting edge in the final third as Aaron McGowan’s first-half strike earned Hamilton Accies all three points.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890685.1552761605!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts boss Craig Levein. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The Jambos struggled to create much in the way of goalscoring opportunities and paid the price in what proved to be a disappointing afternoon at the Hope CBD Stadium.

Callum Morrison had one of the visitors' few efforts that flew just wide of the post in the first half but it was his side’s failure to work Gary Woods in the home goal that really irked Levein.

Hearts now trail fourth-placed Kilmarnock by four points with Aberdeen a point better off in the race for Europe. Capital rivals Hibs are also just two points behind after their victory over Motherwell.

“We didn’t create enough it’s as simple as that,” Levein said. “We started the game very slowly and our passing wasn’t enough to cause Hamilton any problems. I thought we dominated the game for long spells but it was going to be difficult because we gave ourselves a mountain to climb.

“Our final cross or pass was lacking in quality. We spoke before the game about second balls which are important when you come here so it was really frustrating.

“Our tempo and focus was missing. I’m concerned about our lack of aggression because we didn’t really have that competitive edge.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "neil.mcglade@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Neil McGlade"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890685.1552761605!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890685.1552761605!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts boss Craig Levein. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts boss Craig Levein. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890685.1552761605!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014352967001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hamilton-1-0-hearts-how-the-hearts-players-rated-1-4890633","id":"1.4890633","articleHeadline": "Hamilton 1 - 0 Hearts: How the Hearts players rated","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552757263000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts went down to Aaron McGowan's first-half strike as Hamilton took the honours in South Lanarkshire but how did the Jambos rate?

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890632.1552755751!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Zdenek Zlamal could do nothing about Aaron McGowan's winner. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Zdenek Zlamal: Was faultless for McGowan’s goal and dealt with everything else comfortably. 7

Jamie Brandon: The youngster found it tough going against Mickel Miller and was replaced as the visitors chased an equaliser. 6

John Souttar: Decent range of passing out of defence and looked solid enough. 7

Christophe Berra: Relatively steady performance from the captain in what proved a frustrating afternoon. 6

Ben Garuccio: Caught out of position for McGowan’s opener but always tried to offer support in the Accies half. 6

Peter Haring: Didn’t show his usual robustness and was too often second best in the challenge. 5

Arnaud Djoum: Kept things simple but Hearts needed more from a player of his talent. 5

Sean Clare: Was forced to come deep to receive the ball and cut a frustrated figure as Hearts failed to provide some punch in attack. 5

Callum Morrison: Decent first-half effort just past the post but his crossing into the box was his Achilles heel. 6

David Vanecek: Was unlucky to see his shot come back off the bar but was ineffective otherwise. 5

Jake Mulraney: The winger started on the front foot but fell out of it and was replaced by Keena ten minutes into the second half. 6


Uche Ikpeazu: Tried his utmost to get Hearts back into the match. 5.

Aidan Keena: Had one effort that sailed over the crossbar. 4

Craig Wighton: Didn’t offer much in the time he was on. 4

" ,"byline": {"email": "neil.mcglade@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Neil McGlade"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890632.1552755751!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890632.1552755751!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Zdenek Zlamal could do nothing about Aaron McGowan's winner. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Zdenek Zlamal could do nothing about Aaron McGowan's winner. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890632.1552755751!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014352967001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hamilton-1-0-hearts-jambos-lose-out-in-lanarkshire-1-4890624","id":"1.4890624","articleHeadline": "Hamilton 1-0 Hearts: Jambos lose out in Lanarkshire","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552757236000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts' European aspirations suffered a damaging blow in Lanarkshire as Hamilton Academical won with a solitary first-half strike.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890623.1552757232!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aaron McGowan hooked a clever finish into the net for Hamilton in the first half"} ,"articleBody": "

Aaron McGowan's looping first-time finish settled this affair, the defender's first Accies goal giving his team three vital points in their quest to avoid relegation and ending Hearts' hopes of three successive victories. The Edinburgh club also lost ground on fourth-placed Kilmarnock in the Premiership table.

This game survived the inclement weather which claimed a number of matches around the country. However, it ended in frustration for the visitors. McGowan struck during an opening 45 minutes which Hamilton largely dominated. Hearts reacted after the break and introduced three strikers as substitutes but the equaliser remained elusive.

The travelling fans were unhappy at the end and made their feeling clear as they left the Hope CBD Stadium.

With striker David Vanecek and midfielder Peter Haring restored to the team, Hearts had a strong spine despite leaving Uche Ikpeazu on the substitutes' bench. Hamilton were without the former Tynecastle forward James Keatings due to an ankle injury sustained in training on Friday.

Vanecek quickly found himself embroiled in a physical contest against a three-man back line of Alex Gogic, Matt Kilgallon and Ziggy Gordon. The Czech wrestled as well as he could but conceded fouls at times attempting to win the ball. He looked keen to run in behind for through passes but most of his service landed in front of him with his back to goal.

Hearts cheaply conceded possession twice in the opening 15 minutes, which forced them to retreat against a team who like getting in about opposing defenders. The Hamilton striker Mickel Miller sprinted through to collect McGowan's lofted pass on 20 minutes but could only lift his finish over Zdenek Zlamal's goal.

Callumn Morrison then had a run and left-footed attempt at the opposite end which curled past the post. However, Hamilton were asserting themselves better than their guests. John Souttar blocked Scott Martin's strike from the edge of the penalty area, and Zlamal held a downward header by McGowan from Tony Andreu's corner.

The pressure yielded a deserved opening goal on 36 minutes. Hearts seemed to switch off as Accies moved down the left and Lennard Sowah, another of their ex-employees, delivered a deep cross. Opposite wing-back McGowan stretched out his right boot as he arrived at the back post to hook a looping finish high into the net, leaving Zlamal helpless.

Although they hadn't threatened much, Hearts came tantalisingly close to equalising moments before half-time. Vanecek controlled Morrison's driven ball into the penalty box and showed quick feet to dispatch it goalwards from 12 yards. The striker saw his attempt crash off the crossbar before Arnaud Djoum's headed rebound was cleared almost on the goal line by Gogic.

Vanecek was replaced at half-time by Ikpeazu, who had been given a rest after relentless action since returning from injury last month. Another striker, Aidan Keena, was introduced ten minutes after the break for Jake Mulraney, and then came Craig Wighton in place of right-back Jamie Brandon.

Hearts were deploying every available attacking weapon in search of an equaliser. From Ikpeazu's left-sided cross, Keena volleyed over the Hamilton crossbar on 70 minutes. Then came Ben Garuccio's delivery for Haring to head but Gordon was in place to deflect the ball out for a corner.

Ikpeazu's header from Morrison's cross was high, but wide areas continued to be Hearts' favoured route forward. They passed the ball well in spells and were camped in the home half right up until stoppage-time, only to be denied a point as they strive for the Europa League qualifying rounds.

Hamilton (3-4-1-2): Woods; Gogic, Kilgallon, Gordon; McGowan, MacKinnon, Martin (Imrie 90), Sowah; Andreu (Tshiembe (79); Oakley (McMillan 71), Miller. Unused subs: Fulton, L Smith, Boyd, Mimnaugh.

Hearts (4-3-3): Zlamal; Brandon (Wighton 66), Souttar, Berra, Garuccio; Haring, Djoum, Clare; Morrison, Vanecek (Ikpeazu 46), Mulraney (Keena 55). Unused subs: Doyle, Dikamona, Bozanic, Cochrane.

Referee: Willie Collum.

Attendance: 2,082.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890623.1552757232!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890623.1552757232!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Aaron McGowan hooked a clever finish into the net for Hamilton in the first half","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aaron McGowan hooked a clever finish into the net for Hamilton in the first half","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890623.1552757232!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014352967001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/it-s-a-really-appealing-option-steven-naismith-opens-up-on-hearts-stay-and-injury-comeback-1-4890567","id":"1.4890567","articleHeadline": "‘It’s a really appealing option’ - Steven Naismith opens up on Hearts stay and injury comeback","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552746082000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts forward Steven Naismith has admitted that signing a permanent deal at Tynecastle remains a “really appealing option” despite interest from Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890566.1552746730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven Naismith has said staying at Hearts is a "really appealing option". Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The on-loan Norwich City forward is out of contract at Carrow Road in the summer, and initially joined Hearts in January last year.

The Gorgie side are keen to hang onto the former Kilmarnock, Rangers and Everton striker and the 32-year-old has said he has thought about extending his stay in the Capital.

“It’s something I’ve thought about. Hopefully I can come to a conclusion sooner rather than later”, he told the BBC.

“The opportunity Hearts have given me over the last 18 months has been great. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and the relationship I have with the manager and the way we have chatted - it is definitely a really appealing option for me.

“When, as a family, I know exactly what I want to do, we’ll move forward rather than let it drag on.”

Naismith has scored 16 goals for Hearts this season - despite missing a chunk of games in the first half of the campaign through injury - but is currently out injured having undergone knee surgery earlier this month.

Hearts boss Craig Levein is hopeful that the Scotland international can return to action before the season is out but the 49-times capped forward is exercising caution.

“I’m not going to say I’ll definitely be back [before the end of the season] but all round, it was better than expected. When you go in for an operation, they are normally saying it was slightly worse but this was better.

“It’s a rapid incline once you’ve passed the first hurdle”, he added.

He is unlikely to line up against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup semi-final next month, and will also miss Scotland’s Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Kazakhstan and San Marino.

However, Naismith remains hopeful of breaking the 50-cap mark and entering the Hall of Fame.

“As a kid, I never really expected to get any caps so to be flirting with the prospect of getting in the Hall of Fame is quite incredible. I’ll hopefully get there one day,” he told BBC Sportsound.

“When you are a kid and you go with your boys club to Hampden to watch Scotland, you are sitting there with it being a show. I never had a real thought of thinking ‘I’ll play for Scotland’.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890566.1552746730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890566.1552746730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Steven Naismith has said staying at Hearts is a "really appealing option". Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven Naismith has said staying at Hearts is a "really appealing option". Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890566.1552746730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/craig-levein-explains-david-vanecek-s-hearts-omission-and-why-he-s-poised-to-return-1-4890031","id":"1.4890031","articleHeadline": "Craig Levein explains David Vanecek’s Hearts omission – and why he’s poised to return","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552717800000 ,"articleLead": "

David Vanecek returns for Hearts against Hamilton today after being left out of the midweek Scottish Cup victory over Partick Thistle. Manager Craig Levein felt three games in a week might be too much for the Czech striker but he is poised to feature in Lanarkshire this afternoon.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890029.1552650370!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Vanecek did not feature in Hearts' 2-1 midweek win over Partick Thistle. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Vanecek is still striving for optimum fitness after joining Hearts from FK Teplice in January. His physical condition is improving but Levein omitted him on Tuesday after starting him at Dundee last weekend.

Austrian midfielder Peter Haring was also rested against Thistle but came on as substitute in the second half. Levein explained to the Evening News that both players will be involved at Hamilton.

“I’m planning on using Vanecek against Hamilton. Peter struggles to play three games in a week and I didn’t think David would manage that either. He will be involved at Hamilton at some point for sure,” said the manager.

“We gave Peter a rest in midweek because he has played a lot of games since he came back from injury. I feel it will help him only playing 25 minutes and hopefully we will see the benefits of that today. I thought he did well when he came on. He definitely helps us.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890029.1552650370!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890029.1552650370!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Vanecek did not feature in Hearts' 2-1 midweek win over Partick Thistle. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Vanecek did not feature in Hearts' 2-1 midweek win over Partick Thistle. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890029.1552650370!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5795246155001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-sean-clare-i-m-so-grateful-to-craig-levein-for-sticking-with-me-1-4890310","id":"1.4890310","articleHeadline": "Hearts’ Sean Clare: I’m so grateful to Craig Levein for sticking with me","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552717800000 ,"articleLead": "

Sean Clare has thanked Craig Levein for keeping faith with him through the difficult early months of his Hearts career.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890308.1552665438!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sean Clare is hugged by Hearts manager Craig Levein. The midfielder has flourished under the Jambos boss in recent weeks. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The 22-year-old former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder signed for the Tynecastle club in September amid a wave of hype, but took some time to make his presence felt in a maroon jersey, leaving many supporters underwhelmed. Although he has not yet hit top gear on a consistent basis, there has been a notable upturn in Clare’s productivity in recent months. The attacking midfielder has become a regular starter and has scored four goals in his last 12 games, including three match-winners.

Levein said on Thursday that Clare was “a bit of a project for us and gradually with games he’s starting to prove his worth” before predicting that he will be “a really good player in the next year or two.” The Londoner has been reassured by the belief his manager has shown in him and feels his ongoing backing was crucial to helping him overcome a sticky start to his Hearts career.

“That’s one of the main reasons I came here, I knew the manager and staff would back me even if things weren’t going to plan,” said Clare. “It was always going to be difficult coming up to a different style of football with an injury, and the manager understood that and he has really shown faith in me, as have all the staff.

“Without that, things may not be where they are now, I may not have been able to progress. So I am thankful and appreciative of it and hopefully I can keep repaying him.”

Clare’s match-winning goals against Dundee and Partick Thistle over the past week have injected some fresh impetus into Hearts’ season after a frustrating six-game run in which their only victory came against Auchinleck Talbot. The 1-0 triumph at Dens Park last Saturday kept the Edinburgh side within striking distance of Aberdeen and Kilmarnock in the battle for a Europa League spot, while Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Thistle served to set up a Scottish Cup semi-final showdown with Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The remainder of the season is now alive with possibilities for Hearts after a period when things looked to be fizzling out.

“It has been a good week for the team and that is the main thing, getting the three points and getting through to a semi final,” said Clare ahead of today’s trip to Hamilton Accies. “It is massive for us at this time in the league and massive for the club to get a good day out at Hampden – the boys are happy.

“I wouldn’t really call it a form dip before – we just weren’t grinding out the results that we needed to. The last few games we have shown we have a bit more resilience than we maybe have shown in the past and that is really important if we want to progress in the league and in the cup. We have turned a new page and hopefully we can keep that going.

“The aim is to get into Europe through the league. The cup would be another great option if we could go on and win it, but that’s a difficult thing to do. I feel we just have to try and win every league game we can rather than focus on the cup.

“All the games coming up now are very important. We have closed the gap on the teams above us over the past few weeks and we need to keep putting points on the board now, so these next games are massive. We are playing with a bit more composure and steel, and if we can keep that up until the end of the season we’ll have a great chance of moving up the league. We want to get to the final and we want to get into Europe – that’s the minimum we are looking for. But we know there’s a long way to go and it’s going to be difficult, we need to keep working hard and progressing.”

Clare is heartened by the fact his team seem to be coping better without the injured Steven Naismith than they did during his two-month absence earlier in the season. “Obviously, losing a big player like Naisy is difficult for any team and unfortunately the last time we also lost some other big players,” said Clare. “Now we have a few of them back and although we have lost Naisy we have definitely grown as a team and are stronger as a team in terms of blocking teams out and sticking together when things are tough. That will benefit us in the later stages of the season.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890308.1552665438!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890308.1552665438!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sean Clare is hugged by Hearts manager Craig Levein. The midfielder has flourished under the Jambos boss in recent weeks. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sean Clare is hugged by Hearts manager Craig Levein. The midfielder has flourished under the Jambos boss in recent weeks. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890308.1552665438!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014352967001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/maroon-memories-gary-mcswegan-has-hearts-heading-for-europe-1-4889834","id":"1.4889834","articleHeadline": "Maroon Memories: Gary McSwegan has Hearts heading for Europe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552717200000 ,"articleLead": "

St Johnstone 0 Hearts 1. SPL. Wednesday, March 15, 2000

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889833.1552651764!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts striker Gary McSwegan"} ,"articleBody": "

Gary McSwegan offered Craig Brown a timely reminder of his presence as he headed Hearts into UEFA Cup contention at St Johnstone.

The former Rangers striker was mentioned in despatches by national coach Brown last week as a possible member of the squad for the friendly against world champions France in a fortnight.

And after his 64th-minute winner at McDiarmid Park lifted Hearts into third spot in the Scottish Premier League, 29-year-old McSwegan has brought himself right back into the limelight in his first start since February 2.

Indeed, McSwegan’s goal was the only bright spot in a dull game in Perth as both teams struggled to find any semblance of continuity.

The first period had been a turgid affair with neither side managing a single shot on target.

Nathan Lowndes was set free down the left flank by Paddy Connolly but from the edge of the area the striker fired over without appreciating the time he had.

Lowndes was again let loose down the left six minutes later by Darren Dods but with nobody expecting the Salford-born forward to reproduce his earlier run, his cross drifted across goal without threat.

Colin Cameron was clearly unimpressed by the non-events going on around him and was offered an audacious chance to open the scoring.

Stephen Roberston raced off his line to clear from Gary Wales but his ball fell at the feet of the Hearts midfielder.

Cameron looked up once from 35 yards but could only loft a cheeky, if ineffective, lob over the bar.

Scott Severin offered some hope of goal when he slipped the challenge of John Paul McBride before laying the ball off to Gary Naysmith, who drove wide.

Grant Murray came to Hearts’ rescue with a challenge on Connolly which did enough to deflect the Saints’ man’s shot wide.

From McBride’s corner Paul Kane swung a leg at the ball but only managed an embarrassed look as it drifted towards the corner flag.

There was a brief flirtation with excitement in the opening stages of the second period but the relationship was never consummated as Wales’ first-time volley from the edge of the box was comfortably held by Robertson.

However, with the onset of rigor mortis imminent Hearts claimed the lead with only their second strike on target.

Former Blackburn midfielder Lee Makel had been on the field as a replacement for Robert Tomaschek for just two minutes when he was invited to take a free-kick after Gary Bollan had fouled Thomas Flogel.

Makel swung the ball over from the right and McSwegan lifted himself above the Saints defence to glance the ball past Robertson.

St Johnstone attempted to lift the home crowd with an exciting move down the right which culminated in Connolly’s cross being hoofed over the bar by Lowndes.

Hearts goalkeeper Antti Niemi was called into action for the first time with 11 minutes remaining when he dived to his right to parry John O’Neil’s drive.

With ten minutes remaining Jim Jefferies withdrew goal-scorer McSwegan for Darren Jackson, who had been rested ahead of the Edinburgh derby, with a rousing reception from the travelling contingent.

St Johnstone: Robertson, Weir, O’Neil, Kane (Jones 77), Lowndes, Connolly, Bollan, Griffin, McBride, Dods,Frail (McMahon 69). Subs Not Used: Cuthbert, O’Halloran, McAnespie.Booked: Kane, Griffin.

Hearts: Niemi, Pressley, Naysmith, Cameron, McSwegan (Jackson 80), Murray, Flogel, Tomaschek (Makel 61), Leclercq, Wales (Adam 85), Severin. Subs Not Used: McKenzie, Simpson.

Referee: S Dougal (Scotland).

Att: 4468.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889833.1552651764!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889833.1552651764!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts striker Gary McSwegan","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts striker Gary McSwegan","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889833.1552651764!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/greg-tansey-clevid-dikamona-hearts-ban-left-bitter-taste-1-4890406","id":"1.4890406","articleHeadline": "Greg Tansey: Clevid Dikamona Hearts ban left ‘bitter taste’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552669632000 ,"articleLead": "

Greg Tansey admits the manner of his two-match ban left a bitter taste after Hearts defender Clevid Dikamona posted a clip of the St Mirren midfielder’s challenge on him on Twitter.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890404.1552669630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' Clevid Dikamona (left) lies on the deck after being caught by St Mirren's Greg Tansey. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Dikamona tagged the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) in some now-deleted messages, prompting Aston Villa’s former St Mirren and Hibernian midfielder John McGinn to call him a “grass”.

Tansey subsequently received a two-match retrospective ban for the incident on February 23.

The 30-year-old, who returns for Saturday’s trip to St Johnstone, said: “I don’t want to get into trouble and say too much but the way it happened left a bitter taste in my mouth. But these things happen and you have to take it on the chin and deal with it. I’ve got an inbox, he could have taken it up with me there, but he didn’t. It’s not a problem, it’s gone now. People get tweet happy sometimes.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PETER WALES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890404.1552669630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890404.1552669630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts' Clevid Dikamona (left) lies on the deck after being caught by St Mirren's Greg Tansey. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' Clevid Dikamona (left) lies on the deck after being caught by St Mirren's Greg Tansey. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890404.1552669630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014352967001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/livingston-manager-gary-holt-speaks-on-craig-halkett-to-hearts-link-1-4890413","id":"1.4890413","articleHeadline": "Livingston manager Gary Holt speaks on Craig Halkett to Hearts link","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552669591000 ,"articleLead": "

Livingston manager Gary Holt says he has still not given up hope of keeping Craig Halkett at the club.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890411.1552669584!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "15/03/19'TONY MACARONI ARENA - LIVINGSTON'Livingston manager Gary Holt looks ahead to his side's game against Aberdeen"} ,"articleBody": "

The Lions captain is widely expected to complete a pre-contract move to Hearts at the end of the season, although Holt harbours hope that he may commit to a prolonged stay in West Lothian.

Holt, pictured, said: “We’re not giving up hope on anyone we want to keep but it’s out of our hands. I’m getting fed up talking about it.

“Craig has been exceptional for us but this club will go on.

“If Craig moves on then someone else will come in and that’s for the best interests of the club.

“We want to be in the ball park to compete but we understand that players will leave.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PETER WALES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890411.1552669584!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890411.1552669584!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "15/03/19'TONY MACARONI ARENA - LIVINGSTON'Livingston manager Gary Holt looks ahead to his side's game against Aberdeen","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "15/03/19'TONY MACARONI ARENA - LIVINGSTON'Livingston manager Gary Holt looks ahead to his side's game against Aberdeen","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890411.1552669584!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890412.1552669587!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890412.1552669587!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig Halkett is expected to join Hearts from Livingston. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Halkett is expected to join Hearts from Livingston. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890412.1552669587!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hamilton-v-hearts-haring-to-return-who-partners-uche-close-the-gap-to-third-1-4890216","id":"1.4890216","articleHeadline": "Hamilton v Hearts: Haring to return? | Who partners Uche? | Close the gap to third","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552659644000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts will be looking to complete a fine week for the club by grabbing their third win in a row when they travel to face Hamilton Academical on Saturday (3pm KO).

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890214.1552659641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' Callum Paterson receives a red card from Willie Collum the last time the team lost at Hamilton. Picture: SNS/Sammy Turner"} ,"articleBody": "

Craig Levein’s side edged a 1-0 win at Dundee last Saturday thanks to a Sean Clare strike, and the Englishman was on target again as the Jam Tarts booked their place in the Scottish Cup semi final at Hampden Park.

Hearts trailed Partick Thistle in the quarter-final replay at Tynecastle on Tuesday night which caused much consternation among the home support. Yet, strikes from Uche Ikpeazu and then Clare handed the side the much needed win which leaves just a Championship side standing between them and a Scottish Cup final.

Performances over the last few months have not reached the high standards of earlier in the campaign but the return to Hampden - the first time since the 2013 League Cup final - provides the club with a real feel-good factor and that positivity could flow onto the pitch.

Hearts are just four points behind Aberdeen in third-place. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Levein leads the team to third place and a Scottish Cup win.

There are no fresh injury worries after Tuesday night and there was further good news with Steven Naismith’s knee surgery going well.

Levein has played the same team in back-to-back games just twice this season so changes to the team are likely.

The influential Peter Haring will be looking to come back in having netted twice in the 4-1 win at the Hope CBD stadium earlier in the season, while Callumn Morrison, Steven MacLean, Craig Wighton, Jake Mulraney, David Vanecek and Aidan Keena will be battling it out for two spaces in support of Uche Ikpeazu.

Clare will be looking to net for the third successive game. The 22-year-old is continuing to grow in confidence, as seen by him taking the Thistle game by the scruff of the neck.

The opponents

Hamilton are favourable opposition as Hearts look to close the gap to Kilmarnock and the Dons - they are struggling and the bottom and no team have conceded more goals than Accies’ 61.

Yet, there is still something of the unknown about Hamilton under Brian Rice. Since replacing Martin Canning they have beaten both St Johnstone and Aberdeen with the latter victory coming at Pittodrie. That has been offset with very poor in defeats to Rangers and Motherwell.

In both matches the team failed to engage their opponents and were far too open, allowing both teams’ creative players to run amok.

Rice is still searching for the right balance since arriving, which is understandable considering he has very different ideas to his predecessor.

Hamilton players to watch

Expect Aaron McGowan to come back in at right-back. The tenacious and aggressive defender was surprisingly dropped to the bench against Motherwell. Matthew Kilgallon offers vital experience in the middle of the defence. Mikel Miller and Tony Andreu provide creativity with George Oakley the focal point in attack.

Injuries / suspensions / unavailable

Hearts: No fresh injury concerns. Steven Naismith (knee), Michael Smith (thigh) and Demetri Mitchell (knee) all remain out.

Hamilton: Accies could be without Steven Davies with the bustling forward having missed the last three outings with a calf injury. Rice is missing Scott McMann who is recovering from a broken hand and long-term absentee Marios Ogkmpoe who is nearing a return from a knee injury.

Possible teams:

Hearts: Zlamal; Godinho, Souttar, Berra, Garuccio; Djoum, Haring, Clare, Mulraney; MacLean, Ikpeazu. Subs from: Brandon, Shaughnessy, Bozanic, Lee, Morrison, Wighton, Vanecek, Keena, Cochrane, Doyle.

Hamilton: Woods; McGowan, Gordon, Kilgallon, Sowah; MacKinnon, Martin; Miller, Imrie, Andreu; Oakley. Subs from: Gogic, Want, Taiwo, Tshiembe, Keatings, McMillan, Mimnaugh, Smith, Davies, Fulton.

Magic number - 133

The combined number of yellow cards Hearts and Hamilton have picked up this season in the league. No two Premiership teams could ‘better’ that number.

Key battle

It is becoming a feature of Hearts game now where you automatically look at the opponent’s centre-back pairing. In the game between the sides on the opening day of the season Uche Ikpeazu was prominent in the win, setting up Steven MacLean. He also bullied and ragdolled in good measure Shaun Want, Ziggy Gordon and Alex Penny. Accies can be vulnerable at the back and it will be no surprise to see Hearts play through the Englishman frequently.

Key stats

Hearts are not known for their fine away form or positive records. However, the Gorgie side are unbeaten in their last four visits to Hamilton and are currently on a ten game unbeaten run against the Accies, home and away.


Willie Collum takes centre stage at the Hope CBD Stadium. He was the man in the middle the last time Hearts lost at Hamilton. With Hearts having won their first five games of the 2015/2016 season after promotion back to the top flight they were on course for their sixth win. Collum sent Callum Paterson off and Hamilton came from 2-1 down to win 3-2.

To keep up-to-date with all our stories from across Edinburgh and the Lothians like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890214.1552659641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890214.1552659641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts' Callum Paterson receives a red card from Willie Collum the last time the team lost at Hamilton. Picture: SNS/Sammy Turner","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' Callum Paterson receives a red card from Willie Collum the last time the team lost at Hamilton. Picture: SNS/Sammy Turner","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890214.1552659641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014352967001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/scottish-football-live-old-firm-face-epl-battle-for-starlet-gerrard-s-transfer-plans-celtic-return-for-park-levein-eyes-three-signings-hibs-boss-hits-out-at-rangers-ref-1m-killie-defender-wanted-1-4890000","id":"1.4890000","articleHeadline": "Scottish Football Live: Old Firm face EPL battle for starlet | Gerrard’s transfer plans | Celtic return for Park? | Levein eyes three signings | Hibs boss hits out at Rangers ref | £1m Killie defender wanted","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552647681000 ,"articleLead": "

Follow The Scotsman’s daily blog as we keep you updated with all the latest news, views, rumours and much more from around Scottish football.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889998.1552647677!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Levein hopes to retain Steven Naismith. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson"} ,"articleBody": "

Refresh for live updates.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889998.1552647677!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889998.1552647677!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig Levein hopes to retain Steven Naismith. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Levein hopes to retain Steven Naismith. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889998.1552647677!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5788006182001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/they-ll-get-the-job-done-journalists-predictions-for-hamilton-v-hearts-1-4889993","id":"1.4889993","articleHeadline": "‘They’ll get the job done’ - Journalists’ predictions for Hamilton v Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552647631000 ,"articleLead": "

Our online team give their predictions ahead of Saturday’s encounter between Hamilton and Hearts at the Hope CBD Stadium

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889992.1552659162!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sean Clare skips away from Tom Taiwo during the last meeting between Hearts and Hamilton. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Mark Atkinson

Buoyed by two unspectacular yet vital wins over Dundee and Partick, I expect Hearts to have enough in the tank to beat an Accies side that (a) doesn’t match the Jambos for quality and (b) tends to reserve its best results for the road. Hamilton’s weak point is the centre of defence and the runaway HGV that is Uche Ikpeazu is unlikely to be halted by Matt Kilgallon and Delphin Tshiembe. Hearts won 4-1 at the Hope CBD Stadium on the first day of the season. I can’t see Craig Levein’s men scoring four times again, but they’ll get the job done. Prediction: Hearts win

Anthony Brown

With Uche Ikpeazu having returned to the goal trail and Sean Clare buoyed by match-winning goals in his last two games, Hearts’ main threats will be confident of notching against an Accies side who have been conceding at a regular rate. The visitors should make their general superiority count at a ground where they have won on their last three visits. Prediction: Hearts win

Craig Fowler

Hamilton have been wildly inconsistent under Brian Rice. They were excellent in the wins against St Johnstone and Aberdeen, but were cut open with ridiculous ease against Rangers and in the first half last week at Motherwell. If they’re on their game this will be a very difficult game for a Hearts side who’ve won their last two but performed in neither game. Prediction: Hamilton win.

Neil McGlade

Now that Hearts have a Scottish Cup semi-final to look forward to next month, their immediate focus is putting pressure on third-placed Aberdeen. The Dons are currently four points better off than Craig Levein’s men - with Kilmarnock sandwiched in between - so victory at the Hope CBD Stadium, a venue they won so convincingly at on the opening day of the season, will stand them in good stead for the run-in. I haven’t see much improvement with Accies since Brian Rice took charge so this one has away victory written all over it. Prediction: Hearts win.

Patrick McPartlin

Hearts will have received a boost from seeing off Partick Thistle after an early scare on Tuesday night to reach the last four of the Scottish Cup. It’s true there have been rumblings about the style of play but at this stage, getting results is the main thing. Accies have undoubtedly improved under Brian Rice - although they do have a tendency to be somewhat unpredictable - but I’m not convinced they have enough in their locker to properly hurt Hearts. It may not be emphaatic but I still reckon Craig Levein’s side will leave the Hope CBD Stadium with the points. Prediction: Hearts win

Joel Sked

This is a game which provokes a shrug because of its difficulty to predict. Hearts come into it buoyed by a scrappy away win at Dens Park and then reaching the Scottish Cup semi-final after a wet, windy and tense evening at Tynecastle against Partick Thistle during the week. The standard of performance is still lacking but these were crucial wins to build confidence. As for Hamilton they are swing from one end of the spectrum to another. Under Brian Rice they have defeated St Johnstone and put in an excellent display at Pittodrie to deservedly beat Aberdeen. On the other hand, they’ve been torn apart by both Rangers and Motherwell. It’ll unlikely be such a scrap for Hearts as it has been at times over the last few seasons and with the chance to possibly close the gap to Kilmarnock and Aberdeen above them Craig Levein’s men should sneak their third win in a week. Prediction: Hearts win.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889992.1552659162!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889992.1552659162!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sean Clare skips away from Tom Taiwo during the last meeting between Hearts and Hamilton. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sean Clare skips away from Tom Taiwo during the last meeting between Hearts and Hamilton. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889992.1552659162!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014352967001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/big-interview-callumn-morrison-on-rapid-hearts-rise-new-baby-and-threat-of-cutting-up-shorts-1-4889704","id":"1.4889704","articleHeadline": "Big interview: Callumn Morrison on rapid Hearts rise, new baby and threat of cutting up shorts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552631400000 ,"articleLead": "

Callumn Morrison migrated from Riccarton’s youth dressing room into the senior changing area last month. He has made 36 appearances for Hearts and turns 20 in July, yet still does not consider himself a bona fide first-team player.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889703.1552584055!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Callumn Morrison doesn't feel he's a first-team regular at Hearts yet. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Rules within the Edinburgh club state that academy kids must play 30 games for the first team before they have the right to change beside the experienced professionals each day. Morrison has achieved that landmark but still isn’t entirely convinced that he belongs there.

Even Steven MacLean threatening to cut up the teenagers’s shorts hasn’t persuaded him. What he wants is more game time and goals, starting at Hamilton tomorrow. If he helps Hearts qualify for European competition over the coming weeks, maybe his promotion will properly sink in.

“I’m in there now, in the first-team dressing room. It’s alright. My gear hasn’t been done yet. I’m just waiting for that to happen,” he smirked. “Macca did say to me one day: ‘If you ever wear those shorts again I’m going to cut them up.’ He promised me that. I asked him why and he said: ‘Just don’t wear them again.’ I haven’t had them on since. I might wear them again at the end of the season.

“If I get a bit of stick I’ll give it out. I don’t feel there’s that much difference overall because it’s just a place where you get changed. It’s good to be in there, obviously.

“I don’t count myself as a first-team player yet, though. I don’t know if it’s because I’m still 19. I’m not sure when I’ll feel like a proper first-team member. Maybe when I get to 50 appearances. I just see myself as being in between the reserves and first team right now. I’m still trying to establish myself.”

That self-effacing outlook is exactly what the Hearts management team want from emerging youngsters. Morrison winced slightly last summer as new signings arrived by the day – 18 new recruits in total – for the winger worried about his own prospects of a breakthrough. The concern was misplaced. Tomorrow will be his 35th appearance of the season.

“When I saw all those new signings come in, I thought: ‘It’s going to be so hard to get a chance.’ I thought a lot of the young boys would probably go out on loan but I was just lucky. I got my head down in pre-season, worked hard and took my chance when I got it,” he said.

“This is a lot more than I expected. I’ve made a lot of starts in the team and I can’t believe it. I was on loan in League Two and then the Championship last season. I didn’t expect this at all.”

One event he was better prepared for was the arrival of his first child. A few days after his first goal for Hearts against St Johnstone in January, baby Harris Morrison was born.

“He is just sleeping and eating, basically. He is doing well and my Mrs is fine as well,” said the player. “I was focusing on my football even though the baby was coming. It’s been a massive change to my life this year. I had no idea I would play all these games in the first team. The gaffer has put a bit of faith in me and I’ve enjoyed it.”

So much action can take its toll on the body, however. Morrison gets periodic pain from his knee after undergoing cartilage surgery last season. He will require another operation at some stage.

For now, there is too much to play for and he is understandably reluctant to step out of the squad at such a key point in the campaign. Hearts reached the Scottish Cup semi-finals on Tuesday night and are still fighting for a Europa League qualifying slot in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

They face Hamilton on a synthetic surface tomorrow but even that won’t deter Morrison.

“I don’t mind playing on astroturf. I’m not one of the boys who will say: ‘I can’t play because of my knee.’ I’m willing to play. I want to play games. If I hurt it, I hurt it. I just want to play.“I’ve had a bit of problem with my knee all season. I got an operation on my cartilage just over a year ago. I get wee niggles here and there so it’s all about managing the knee.

“At some point, I do need surgery on the knee again. I’m trying to manage it and see if we can deal with the pain just now. There was a time earlier in the season when it was really sore but all of a sudden it’s gone away after a few days rest. I just need to rest it when I can.”

The feeling that now would be the worst possible point to be sidelined is confirmed with a glance at Hearts’ fixture list. Important games are piled up on the horizon. Hamilton tomorrow is followed by Aberdeen at home, Rangers away, an Edinburgh derby against Hibs and then that semi-final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Morrison hopes to be involved in all of the above.

He is also poised for a Scotland Under-21 debut before March is out. Scot Gemmill, who coached the Hearts winger in the Under-17 national team, has called him into the Under-21 squad for this month’s friendlies in Marbella against Mexico and Sweden.

It should come as no surprise by now to learn that Morrison is taking that accolade in his stride like everything else which has come his way of late.

“It’s always good to get away with Scotland and it’s a good experience. Hearts is my main focus but it’s a nice bonus being in the Under-21 squad. I played at under-17s under Scot Gemmill so I’m looking forward to working with him again.”

He doesn’t get over-excited, but that is part of his strength. It is also a reason why he is now a recognised figure at Hearts whether he likes it or not.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889703.1552584055!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889703.1552584055!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Callumn Morrison doesn't feel he's a first-team regular at Hearts yet. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Callumn Morrison doesn't feel he's a first-team regular at Hearts yet. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889703.1552584055!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-manager-craig-levein-reveals-plans-for-key-signings-in-the-summer-1-4889777","id":"1.4889777","articleHeadline": "Hearts manager Craig Levein reveals plans for key signings in the summer","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552631400000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts will target two or three key signings this summer if Craig Levein can keep the spine of his team together.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889776.1552597813!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein wants to get ahead of the game"} ,"articleBody": "

Keen to stop major squad overhauls each year, Levein is focused on retaining a group he feels can serve the club for seasons to come.

Christophe Berra, Michael Smith, John Souttar, Uche Ikpeazu and Clevid Dikamona have recently extended their contracts. Talks are ongoing with Peter Haring, while Hearts refuse to give up hope of signing on-loan Norwich forward Steven Naismith permanently and persuading Arnaud Djoum to stay in Edinburgh.

Livingston captain Craig Halkett is poised to sign a pre-contract agreement in June. Manager Levein explained that, provided his plans fall into place, he intends to recruit just two or three new faces in specific areas for next season.

That follows 18 signings last summer and huge squad turnover during Ian Cathro’s managerial tenure in 2017.

“I’m trying to get everything in place for next season as early as possible. We’ve made quite a few signings of important players like Christophe, John, Michael Smith, Uche and now Clevid,” explained Levein. “We are still trying with Naisy, Peter Haring and Arnaud Djoum. If I can do that then it means in the summer we’ll probably only have to sign two or three players.

“They would be key players, of course, but it makes me feel quite good that we’re not going to make ten changes, which we seem to have done in most windows up to now. It makes my life easier in the summer.

“I’ve been chopping and changing trying to find the pillars of the team. Now I’ve got players who I think, for a period of time, could be the mainstays. That would allow us to introduce young players or bring in two or three in the summer who can add more flair.

“The stability will help us enormously. I’ve been trying to get that for a year and a bit now and this will be the first window where I feel that we’re good. We’ve got reliable good players for this league who are also capable of improving. That makes me feel good.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889776.1552597813!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889776.1552597813!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein wants to get ahead of the game","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein wants to get ahead of the game","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889776.1552597813!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/scottish-football-live-euro-giants-think-tierney-is-too-expensive-benkovic-eyes-celtic-return-interest-in-premiership-defender-hearts-star-signs-new-deal-1-4889297","id":"1.4889297","articleHeadline": "Scottish Football Live: Euro giants think Tierney is ‘too expensive’ | Benkovic eyes Celtic return | Interest in Premiership defender | Hearts star signs new deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552577543000 ,"articleLead": "

Follow The Scotsman’s daily blog as we keep you updated with all the latest news, views, rumours and much more from around Scottish football.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889294.1552577540!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic have been rejected with regards to plans for Parkhead. Picture: SNS/Paul Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Refresh for live updates.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889294.1552577540!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889294.1552577540!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Celtic have been rejected with regards to plans for Parkhead. Picture: SNS/Paul Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic have been rejected with regards to plans for Parkhead. Picture: SNS/Paul Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889294.1552577540!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5800712439001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/scottish-premiership-top-30-attackers-the-players-with-the-most-goals-and-assists-1-4889591","id":"1.4889591","articleHeadline": "Scottish Premiership top 30 attackers: the players with the most goals and assists","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552574456091 ,"articleLead": "Using stats compiled from scouting and analytical website Wyscout, we have ranked the most productive players in the Scottish Premiership, combining their goals and assists tallies.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889560.1552578629!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cosgrove, Morelos and Naismith have all been reliable providers for their sides this season."} ,"articleBody": "

Scottish Premiership top 30 attackers: the players with the most goals and assists

" ,"byline": {"email": "Finlay.Greig@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Finlay Greig"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889560.1552578629!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889560.1552578629!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Cosgrove, Morelos and Naismith have all been reliable providers for their sides this season.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cosgrove, Morelos and Naismith have all been reliable providers for their sides this season.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889560.1552578629!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889561.1552578632!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889561.1552578632!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 6 Goals: 5 Assists: 1","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 6 Goals: 5 Assists: 1","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889561.1552578632!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889562.1552578634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889562.1552578634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 6 Goals: 5 Assists: 1","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 6 Goals: 5 Assists: 1","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889562.1552578634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889563.1552578637!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889563.1552578637!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 6 Goals: 5 Assists: 1","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 6 Goals: 5 Assists: 1","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889563.1552578637!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889564.1552578639!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889564.1552578639!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 6 Goals: 5 Assists: 1","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 6 Goals: 5 Assists: 1","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889564.1552578639!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889565.1552578645!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889565.1552578645!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 6 Goals: 5 Assists: 1","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 6 Goals: 5 Assists: 1","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889565.1552578645!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889566.1552578648!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889566.1552578648!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 6 Goals: 6 Assists: 0","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 6 Goals: 6 Assists: 0","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889566.1552578648!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889567.1552578651!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889567.1552578651!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 7 Goals: 3 Assists: 4","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 7 Goals: 3 Assists: 4","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889567.1552578651!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889568.1552578653!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889568.1552578653!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 7 Goals: 5 Assists: 2","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 7 Goals: 5 Assists: 2","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889568.1552578653!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889569.1552578656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889569.1552578656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 7 Goals: 7 Assists: 0","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 7 Goals: 7 Assists: 0","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889569.1552578656!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889570.1552578660!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889570.1552578660!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 8 Goals: 3 Assists: 5","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 8 Goals: 3 Assists: 5","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889570.1552578660!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889571.1552578662!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889571.1552578662!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 8 Goals: 5 Assists: 3","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 8 Goals: 5 Assists: 3","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889571.1552578662!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889572.1552578669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889572.1552578669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 8 Goals: 3 Assists: 5","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 8 Goals: 3 Assists: 5","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889572.1552578669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889573.1552578672!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889573.1552578672!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 8 Goals: 4 Assists: 4","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 8 Goals: 4 Assists: 4","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889573.1552578672!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889574.1552578675!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889574.1552578675!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 8 Goals: 5 Assists: 3","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 8 Goals: 5 Assists: 3","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889574.1552578675!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889575.1552578678!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889575.1552578678!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 8 Goals: 5 Assists: 3","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 8 Goals: 5 Assists: 3","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889575.1552578678!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889576.1552578680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889576.1552578680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 8 Goals: 6 Assists: 2","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 8 Goals: 6 Assists: 2","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889576.1552578680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889577.1552578683!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889577.1552578683!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 10 Goals: 8 Assists: 2","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 10 Goals: 8 Assists: 2","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889577.1552578683!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889578.1552578686!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889578.1552578686!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total:11 Goals: 6 Assists: 5","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total:11 Goals: 6 Assists: 5","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889578.1552578686!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889579.1552578689!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889579.1552578689!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 11 Goals: 8 Assists: 3","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 11 Goals: 8 Assists: 3","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889579.1552578689!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889580.1552578692!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889580.1552578692!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 11 Goals: 9 Assists: 2","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 11 Goals: 9 Assists: 2","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889580.1552578692!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889581.1552578696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889581.1552578696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 11 Goals: 9 Assists: 2","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 11 Goals: 9 Assists: 2","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889581.1552578696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889582.1552578699!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889582.1552578699!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 12 Goals: 6 Assists: 6","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 12 Goals: 6 Assists: 6","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889582.1552578699!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889583.1552578702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889583.1552578702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 12 Goals: 8 Assists: 4","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 12 Goals: 8 Assists: 4","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889583.1552578702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889584.1552578704!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889584.1552578704!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 12 Goals: 10 Assists: 2","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 12 Goals: 10 Assists: 2","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889584.1552578704!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889585.1552578708!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889585.1552578708!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 14 Goals: 8 Assists: 6","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 14 Goals: 8 Assists: 6","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889585.1552578708!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889586.1552578711!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889586.1552578711!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 15 Goals: 10 Assists: 5","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 15 Goals: 10 Assists: 5","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889586.1552578711!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889587.1552578714!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889587.1552578714!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 16 Goals: 12 Assists: 4","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 16 Goals: 12 Assists: 4","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889587.1552578714!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889588.1552578717!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889588.1552578717!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 16 Goals: 14 Assists: 2","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 16 Goals: 14 Assists: 2","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889588.1552578717!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889589.1552578719!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889589.1552578719!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 19 Goals: 16 Assists: 3","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 19 Goals: 16 Assists: 3","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889589.1552578719!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889590.1552578721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889590.1552578721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Total: 21 Goals: 10 Assists: 11","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Total: 21 Goals: 10 Assists: 11","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889590.1552578721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/inverness-ct-chairman-bemoans-early-kick-off-time-for-hearts-cup-semi-final-1-4889556","id":"1.4889556","articleHeadline": "Inverness CT chairman bemoans early kick-off time for Hearts cup semi-final","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552574416000 ,"articleLead": "

Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s chairman has bemoaned the early kick-off time for his side’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts next month.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889553.1552574412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Inverness chairman Graham Rae has had his say on the early kick-off time. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Graham Rae claims that a decision was made on the match’s start time ahead of a meeting in Glasgow to discuss the fixture.

The Caley Jags chief concedes that the time is almost certainly down to TV companies, but added: “I don’t know how much say we will have, particularly as the minnows among the four clubs in the semi-finals.

“We want the best set of circumstances for our supporters and our club.”

Describing the decision to announce details before the meeting as “odd”, Rae told The Sun: “It just seems odd to me that we are being invited down for a meeting where everybody is represented — the fire [service], police, the clubs, the media — then they are announcing things ahead of time.

“I guess they want to get things sewn up before we meet, but it just seems odd.”

Celtic play Aberdeen in the second semi-final on Sunday April 14, with a 2pm kick-off. Both matches will be televised by Premier Sports, with BBC Scotland also screening the Hearts-Inverness meeting.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889553.1552574412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889553.1552574412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Inverness chairman Graham Rae has had his say on the early kick-off time. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Inverness chairman Graham Rae has had his say on the early kick-off time. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889553.1552574412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5785066117001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/managers-sometimes-talk-rubbish-hearts-craig-levein-dismisses-gary-caldwell-complaint-over-uche-ikpeazu-1-4889311","id":"1.4889311","articleHeadline": "‘Managers sometimes talk rubbish’ - Hearts’ Craig Levein dismisses Gary Caldwell complaint over Uche Ikpeazu","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552563569000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts manager Craig Levein has suggested Partick Thistle counterpart Gary Caldwell was “talking rubbish” with his complaints over Uche Ikpeazu’s penalty award.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889309.1552563564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Levein has laughed off complaints made by Gary Caldwell about Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Jags boss Caldwell accused the Jambos striker of falling over “like my little girl in the park” after he won a spot-kick following a tangle with Blair Spittal during Tuesday’s William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final replay.

But Levein - whose side claimed a 2-1 win to set up a semi-final showdown with Inverness - leapt to the defence of his forward as he shrugged off the simulation storm.

And the Tynecastle boss insisted it is no wonder Ikpeazu sometimes finds himself on the deck given some of the heavy challenges he has had to put up with since making his move north from Cambridge last summer.

“Managers sometimes talk rubbish,” said Levein before joking: “I include myself in that.”

He added: “Uche is a significant player for us. He doesn’t half get some rough treatment. Just because he’s a big guy it doesn’t mean it’s OK to have a pop at him.

“To be fair he’s handled it well. I don’t know if I’d have been quite as calm under the provocation he gets.

“He gets fouled a lot. People are trying to to prove they’re stronger than him - but it’s not very easy because he is such an athlete. He’s a strong boy.

“He’s new in the league and referees are trying to work him out. But you shouldn’t be penalised for being stronger than somebody. He quite often does.

“He gets a lot of rough treatment and the conclusion to that is you go to ground. But I don’t think he should be getting penalised for that.”

Meanwhile, Levein confirmed reports Hearts hope to land Craig Halkett on a pre-contract this summer as he admitted he was “interested” in the Livingston defender.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889309.1552563564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889309.1552563564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig Levein has laughed off complaints made by Gary Caldwell about Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Levein has laughed off complaints made by Gary Caldwell about Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889309.1552563564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5785066117001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}