April 2003: Last time Craig Levein won a manager award as Hearts boss

Craig Levein was today named Ladbrokes Premiership Manager of the Month for August. It's been over 15 years since the Hearts boss last won a monthly prize while leading the Jambos. Here, we take a look back at April 2003...

Thursday, 20th September 2018, 2:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th September 2018, 2:21 pm
Craig Levein with his managerial awards for April 2003, and August 2018. Pictures: TSPL/Getty Images
Craig Levein with his managerial awards for April 2003, and August 2018. Pictures: TSPL/Getty Images

The 2002/03 season was Levein’s second full campaign in charge of Hearts, and he got off to a flying start with a 5-1 win over rivals Hibs in the first home game of the season, with Mark de Vries bagging four as the Jambos ran riot.

Hearts only lost one game between August 3 and October 19; a 2-0 loss at Ibrox.

By the time April came around, Levein had lost just eight matches in total and was unbeaten in derbies. Hearts had recorded a come-from-behind win at Easter Road thanks to an injury time Phil Stamp winner and a stunning 4-4 draw with Hibs at Tynecastle thanks to Graeme Weir’s last-gasp double after the Jambos had looked dead and buried in injury time.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Levein and new signing Mark de Vries greet the press after the striker joins Hearts. Picture: TSPL

Of the eight defeats, three matches were lost to Rangers, two to Celtic, and one each to Dunfermline, Motherwell and Dundee.

Hearts won both March fixtures - a 2-1 win and 1-1 draw against Motherwell and Livingston respectively - and began April with a 2-1 home win over Dundee United thanks to goals from Andy Webster and Andy Kirk, after Danny Griffin had given the visitors the lead.

A 1-1 draw with Partick Thistle in week two was followed up by another 2-1 win, and another game that Hearts turned around after going a goal down.

Henrik Larsson scored the opener for Cetic on 59 minutes, before Phil Stamp equalised on 73 minutes, and Austin McCann netted an injury time winner to seal the three points for Levein’s side.

The final match of the month was a narrow 1-0 win over Dunfermline courtesy of a Steven Pressley penalty early in the second half at East End Park.

Hearts finished third behind Rangers and Celtic with a total of 63 points, with 18 wins, nine draws and 11 losses from 38 matches.