Craig Levein admits he is baffled by Hearts’ poor away form

Hearts manager Craig Levein can't hide his frustration at full-time. Pic: SNS
Hearts manager Craig Levein can't hide his frustration at full-time. Pic: SNS
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Craig Levein admitted he is baffled and frustrated by Hearts’ torrid away form following last night’s 2-0 defeat by Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

First-half goals by Anthony O’Connor and Gary Mackay-Steven consigned the Tynecastle side to another away defeat and manager Levein is perplexed.

His team have won only four of their 19 away fixtures so far this season, with one final trip to Kilmarnock to come.

Levein said it is imperative that the situation is addressed before next season.

“Frustrating is probably the right word,” he remarked on the performance in Aberdeen. Levein, pictured, added: “It puzzles me how our performances away from home can be so different to how we perform at home. I’m not talking about players’ application or effort. There was plenty of that.

“For some reason, we seem to be a bit more anxious away from home. Our quality in possession suffers. We got into some really good crossing positions against Aberdeen but couldn’t put a decent ball in the box.

“The puzzling thing is we’ve got Celtic next Sunday at home and I know what will happen. We’ll be at it, we’ll be focused and our quality will be better.

“Aberdeen hadn’t beaten us or scored a goal against us before last night. We got a 0-0 draw here in January but we didn’t win. We got a point. The frustration for me, particularly for next season, is how we can put on the same level of performance away from home as we do at Tynecastle. If we do that, we’ve got a fantastic chance of being right up there challenging.”

The Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes felt his team were deserved victors. “The intensity of our play with and without the ball was clear from minute one. We scored two very good goals and passed up good opportunities to add to that.

“We had 14 shots and seven of those were on target. I thought we played with a lot of intelligence.”