Craig Levein says issues with Tynecastle's new stand are inevitable
Craig Levein admits teething problems with Hearts' new main stand are inevitable and insists the Edinburgh club are an easy target for critics at the moment.
Winless in their last six Premiership matches, Hearts have also had to deal with police raising safety concerns about their new stand less than four weeks since it opened.
Today’s match with Motherwell goes ahead after a safety meeting with senior Tynecastle officials, police and Edinburgh Council representatives. Police raised issues over supporters’ and opposition staff safety but Levein stressed both on and off-the-field problems will be resolved soon.
“The club is going through a difficult period just now, we’ve got off-field issues, we’ve got on-field issues and we are vulnerable to people poking us with a stick,” said the manager.
“The important thing for me is that we will resolve all of these things hopefully in a pretty short space of time. I’d like to think that by the summer we look a lot different to where we are just now.
“These are small things. The point I am trying to make is if everything was going brilliantly at the club people wouldn’t even be talking about it. It’s because we have had some difficulties that these things get highlighted.
“The stuff about the stand, when I read the statement I thought there has obviously been a meeting and there is nothing to worry about.
“The fire alarm went off last week, the lights went out the week before. And I suppose with any big building project, particularly one where there’s time pressure to open quickly, there are going to be issues. It’s a big undertaking. But these are little problems in the bigger scheme of things.”
Levein is keen to illustrate the bigger picture three-and-a-half years since owner Ann Budge helped Hearts emerge from a bruising period in administration.
“Going back three years when we were nearly out of existence, if you look what’s happened, we’ve built a £12 million stand together, we’ve got back into the Premiership, we’ve quadrupled the investment in the academy,” Levein pointed out.
“I think we’re in a really good spot but right now there are little things that are causing us a bit of grief.”