Hearts boss Craig Levein likely to stick with squad he has

Hearts manager Craig Levein
Hearts manager Craig Levein
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Hearts manager Craig Levein expects to persevere with his squad until the summer rather than sign any free agent players.

Having scoured the market and looked at Ivorian striker Ghislain Guessan on trial, Levein is content to go with those already at his disposal.

Demetri Mitchell’s knee injury again leaves Hearts short at left-back and a stop-gap move in that position cannot be ruled out entirely. The on-loan Manchester United player returned to Old Trafford and is facing two months out with a torn meniscus tendon.

However, Levein is determined not to sign anyone simply for the sake of it. He looked at a range of forwards after the January window closed but decided against signing Guessan following a two-week trial at Riccarton.

The manager also considered recruiting a midfielder after Arnaud Djoum snapped his Achilles. None of the free agents available have held sufficient appeal and, for now, there is little prospect of a new arrival at Tynecastle with only two months of the season left.

“I have been looking but I haven’t seen anything. I would be signing someone just for the sake of getting another body in,” Levein explained.

“There’s a lot that goes along with it in terms of getting any new guy up to speed.

“You’re looking at three or four weeks if he hasn’t been playing, so it might be better just focusing on what we’ve got. We brought in Danny Amankwaa during January and he’s only now just getting up to full speed.”

Levein is confident Hearts have enough attacking options to see them through until the end of the campaign. Top goalscorer Kyle Lafferty will start when fit, but others can also play the centre-forward 
role.

“Steven Naismith can play up top as a lone striker if needed, or he can play as one of two men up front,” said Levein. “Euan Henderson can play up there as well, so I think we’re okay. I’d rather have another forward but I’m not going to get another one just for the sake of it.”