Craig Levein admits he is desperate for Harry Cochrane to recover from injury because he considers him potentially Hearts’ best midfielder.
The 17-year-old has suffered several injuries plus a bout of illness during pre-season. He is currently nursing a knee problem and manager Levein wants him fit as soon as possible so he can reinstate him to the team.
Despite signing four new midfielders over the summer – Olly Lee, Oliver Bozanic, Bobby Burns and Ryan Edwards – and already having experienced internationalists Arnaud Djoum and Don Cowie in the squad, Cochrane is key to Levein’s plans for Hearts.
“I’d like to get Harry back. Arguably, he’s our best midfielder,” said Levein. “I really want him back and available because I think he makes us a better team. I’m hoping he can get over this period and get back into the team as quickly as possible.
“He had an illness in the first week of pre-season, then he got concussion, then he hurt his ankle in a friendly, then he hurt it again, and he hurt his knee in a [reserve friendly] game last week.
“He’s had five different things wrong since the start of pre-season. I think he’s wondering what he’s done to deserve this.”
Asked about lauding the talented youngster as arguably the best midfielder at Tynecastle Park, Levein replied: “Yes, it is high praise but I think he is. I think that was proven last season and I’m really desperate to get him back. I want to play him.
“There’s Anthony McDonald as well. He has come on and made a big difference for us in recent games. We have some young players with real quality and those two in particular have been round about the first team. I feel they can both influence matches so I’d like to have them both available.”