Hearts manager Craig Levein today praised teenage debutant Daniel Baur after his performance against Kilmarnock on Sunday.
The 18-year-old centre-back was deployed out of position at left-back but gave a solid account of himself despite the 2-1 defeat at BT Murrayfield.
Levein has not hesitated to introduce young players since stepping back into the Hearts dugout from his director of football role. Harry Cochrane, 16, was given his debut earlier this season, whilst 17-year-old Euan Henderson and 19-year-olds Jamie Brandon, Lewis Moore and Rory Currie have all featured.
Baur is the latest Riccarton academy pupil to graduate and the manager was pleased with his strength of character under difficult circumstances.
“I felt for Daniel a little bit in the first half because we didn’t pass the ball or give him enough options at times to make the game easy for him,” said Levein.
“I thought in the second half his use of the ball was good. He had plenty possession, he got himself in better positions to get on the ball, and the service he got was better. We saw more of what he can do in the second half than we did in the first. It’s a hard place for a young boy to come in to. The fans are feeling a wee bit nervous, the rest of the team aren’t playing particularly well, so it’s harder for kids.
“In an ideal world, you’d bring them in when the team is playing really well and firing on all cylinders. You’d take one player out and put a youngster in, but our young boys haven’t had the comfort of that happening. They’ve all had to stand up and be counted and Daniel did that on Sunday.”