Craig Levein admitted today he feels every bit as frustrated as Hearts supporters but promised improvement is on the cards. Injured players returning combined with the club’s imminent return to Tynecastle Park are reasons for the manager’s cautious optimism.
Yesterday’s 2-1 defeat by Kilmarnock at BT Murrayfield was Hearts’ third successive loss following those to Hibs and Rangers. They are due to return to Gorgie a week on Sunday against Partick Thistle but fans jeered yesterday’s display.
Levein admitted parts of it were poor and lamented the first half in particular. However, he advised fans that the situation is about to improve over the next few weeks. He is hopeful Arnaud Djoum, Jamie Walker, Aaron Hughes and Prince Buaben will all be back in the squad to face Partick.
“Listen, I’m with the Hearts fans. I feel the same things as them,” he told the Evening News. “I’m standing on the touchline, we aren’t playing well, we’re passing the ball backwards, it’s going back to the goalie, then to the centre-back, and back to the goalie again. I’m not feeling good about it.
“I know how to make the Hearts supporters happy, and that’s to do more of what we did in the second half – go forward. Going forward with a bit of pace is what we all want. I’m not saying it was a great second-half performance but it was more like us. That’s the type of stuff the supporters get switched on by. Getting back to Tynecastle and getting a few of our injured players back – which we should do for this next match – will make things feel a little bit better.
“This will start improving for a number of reasons. Firstly, getting good players back will help us enormously. It looks like Djoum will be back for the Partick game. Hopefully Walker too because he’s improving quite well. I’m not certain about it but I’m hopeful.
“Aaron Hughes should be back and we will have Prince back, who is another experienced midfielder. I’m feeling quite good about that and about going to Tynecastle.”