Craig Levein has laughed off criticism from Michael Stewart over his handling of the David Vanecek situation this week.
BBC pundit Stewart, who has had previous issues with the Hearts boss, claimed it was “poor management” to publicly slaughter his new signing after substituting him in the first half of Wednesday’s defeat by Dundee.
Levein was unfazed by the former Hearts and Hibs player’s comment, although he did question why he hasn’t made similar remarks in relation to Hibs manager Neil Lennon’s public criticism of star striker Florian Kamberi.
“I was laughing,” said Levein, when asked about Stewart. “Lenny had a pop at Kamberi – did Michael say anything? Imagine that! Me taking advice on management from Michael, or Michael offering advice, is laughable. One, he’s not intelligent enough to do a managerial job, and two, he isn’t brave enough.
“From my point of view, why would I take advice from somebody like Michael Stewart about football? It’s crazy. It’s like taking advice about politics from somebody like ... Michael Stewart. He’s not clever enough or brave enough to do that.”
Levein has previously suggested that Stewart has an agenda against him because of their mutual dislike of each other, stemming back to when they worked together at Hearts in 2004.
“It makes me laugh because it’s so obvious,” said Levein. “He’s going to self combust one day. He can’t help himself. He tries for a period of time. I wouldn’t say he’s waiting to pounce because he comes lumbering through the door. There’s nothing subtle about it.
“I’ve dealt with the player (Vanecek) and he doesn’t know the circumstances. Just because Michael said it, we shouldn’t assume that it’s wrong ... but it is.”
Asked if he watches Sportscene, where Stewart is a regular pundit, Levein said: “Sometimes. It’s funny because I get all the press stuff delivered to me in the morning and I just hope there’s some Michael Stewart quotes.”
Stewart’s Sportscene sidekick Steven Thompson said that he felt Levein’s treatment of Vanecek was “as poor man-management as I’ve ever seen”. Levein responded with similar contempt.
“He’s another one, eh? Forgive me if I don’t take advice from Stephen either. It doesn’t bother me. If we lose a game then I kind of expect it [criticism].”