New Hearts signings Conor Shaughnessy and David Vanecek will make their debuts in Friday’s friendly against Lokeren in Spain. Manager Craig Levein intends to give everyone a run-out and is keen to let other players learn Vanecek’s best attributes by seeing him at centre-forward.
“I’ve brought 20-odd players with us and I’ve pretty much selected the team and some substitutions that need to be made,” he told the Evening News. “The rest will be based on what happens. Some key players don’t need 90 minutes so we will look at a few different things. David has had more than a month’s rest. That’s almost equatable to the time off we get in the summer. He is slightly behind but he has trained really hard. I think it’s important he plays some of the game today. That’s when you find out players’ strengths and weaknesses, so I need to him to be playing so the other players understand what he is all about. Whether he plays a half or 60 minutes or whatever has yet to be decided.”
Hearts’ next competitive game is against Livingston in the Scottish Cup fourth round a week on Sunday. The Lokeren friendly will shape Levein’s thoughts to an extent ahead of that match, but he already knows what he wants to do against the West Lothian club.
“I’ve kind of got an idea of how I want to play against Livingston and who I want to play. Today will help people get their eye in. It won’t be the team that plays against Livingston,” he added.