Hearts boss unsure on key midfield duo for Hibs clash after knocks

Hearts boss Craig Levein is unsure on the injury status of key midfielders Arnaud Djoum and Peter Haring ahead of the Edinburgh derby on Saturday.

Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 5:05 pm
Updated Monday, 7th January 2019, 12:06 pm
Craig Levein watched his players beat Hamilton 2-0

Both players were replaced in the second half of the 2-0 win over Hamilton with knocks.

Djoum, who netted the second, was subbed for Jake Mulraney after feeling his thigh, while it it was a groin niggle which saw Oliver Bozanic come on for Haring.

The duo impressed in the win but with only three days before the trip to Easter Road Levein is unsure whether they will be available or not.

Sign up to our Hearts newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"Arnaud felt his thigh and Peter tried to turn and he lost his footing in the slip and his groin was a bit tight," he said.

"Obviously with this game coming up on Saturday they are two of our more important midfielders. I don't know yet but fingers crossed it is nothing too serious but the fact they came off isn't great."

The Hearts boss was pleased with the team's work in seeing off an Accies side who rarely threatened but felt it should have been much more comfortable.

"I thought it was a decent performance," said Levein. "We didn't quite get the icing on the cake but the cake was pretty good.

"On another day we could have had five or six easily, we missed some really good chances. So it was good to see us that we are back to the point where we can miss them and still win. It's a nice place to be in.

He added: "I thought we played some good stuff last week without an end product. Today we had an end product and loads of chances as well.

"I can still see the little bit of nerves that there is in the team. We missed a couple of chances early on and got a bit frustrated, squandered some good situations, made some poor decisions. Confidence doesn't come in a bottle, you can't drink it. It has to arrive by performances and results."

Levein also noted Naismith's impact on the team and the opponents.

"He makes a huge difference to us," he said. "I think he also makes a difference to the opposition because they look to the team-sheet and think 'ugh, Naismith's playing'.

"He's cajoling and encouraging people on the pitch throughout the match. He missed a sitter but the thing about the top players like him is that the next opportunity he gets he takes it.

"I think he'll admit he can play better but his general play helped the team."