Craig Levein wants to see more from Hearts winger Danny Amankwaa between now and the end of the season. The manager advised the 24-year-old to get fitter and now hopes to see him produce his best form in a maroon shirt.
Amankwaa arrived from FC Copenhagen in January on an 18-month contract. However, early last month he was taken out of Hearts’ first-team squad and told to work on sprinting and conditioning.
He has played as a substitute in each of the past three matches against Kilmarnock, Motherwell and Hibs. Levein intends to give him more game time in the final two months of the season to see exactly what he can do.
“I’d hope to see more of him,” said the manager. “Danny came in and he didn’t show an awful lot [against Hibs] on Friday night but he’s been doing quite well in training.
“It’s just these repetitive bursts of speed with him. We need to get him fully up to the right level with them. I think you’ve seen the ability he’s got. He’s taken time out to get fitter and playing games now will help him over the next few weeks.”
Hearts’ quality in the final third let them down in the 2-0 defeat against Hibs as well as two lapses of concentration when defending. Levein was frustrated by events at both ends of the field and wants to see his team create more scoring chances.
“I moved Harry Cochrane further forward to try and get him on the ball higher up the pitch. I thought Michael Smith did well in midfield and I was pleased with him,” he explained.
“I didn’t feel we were under pressure in terms of a constant threat. The game opened up a bit later on, obviously, but I’m just frustrated by the manner of the goals we lost.
“Also, we can do much better going forward. We got into good areas and when we needed to compose ourselves, we didn’t do it. Then we gave the ball away in areas where we might have been able to trouble Hibs. That was frustrating as well.
“I just think we need to play better in the last third. We did a lot of work throughout last week on switching the play to find the spare midfield player. That worked really well, but once we did that it was making the correct pass.
“One correct pass on a few occasions would’ve given us opportunities to score. We chose the wrong option too many times. We will look at it on video analysis.
“There were a lot of things I was pleased with on Friday night but the goals we lost were poor and I thought we could’ve done better in attack.”