Hearts boss Craig Levein: We can't be waiting on stars to return from injury

Craig Levein issues instructions from his technical area.
Craig Levein issues instructions from his technical area.
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Hearts boss Craig Levein has called on the available players in the Hearts first-team squad to lift their performance after his side succumbed to a third straight Ladbrokes Premiership defeat at the hands of St Mirren.

The Buddies hadn't won since the opening game of the league season but were able to take all three points thanks to a double from Adam Hammill.

The 2-0 loss means it's now five games without a goal for the Gorgie Road side as familiar frustrations were played out in Paisley. The away side had plenty of possession but rarely looked like breaking through.

There are mitigating circumstances with both Uche Ikpeazu and Steven Naismith, two influential strikers, missing through long-term injury.

But Levein stressed that they couldn't use the absences as an excuse as he hoped to lift the players once again for the visit of Rangers to Tynecastle next Sunday.

He said: “What I don’t want to do is get to a situation where I’m awaiting for players to come back. There are loads of points to be played for between now and Steven and Uche coming back.

“When it carries on like this for a little while it is something the players start to think about. I need to come up with something for next week when we play Rangers.

“I’m fed up talking about the same thing and frustrated as you can imagine. The problem is scoring goals and I feel they are all waiting on someone else doing it."