Hearts’ defensive issues intensify as Clevid Dikamona is ruled out until next year

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Hearts’ injury troubles resurfaced today with confirmation that Congolese international defender Clevid Dikamona will be out until after the winter break.

He suffered a torn thigh muscle during Friday’s 5-0 defeat by Livingston and will not play again at least until late January. The news compounds a miserable few days for the Edinburgh club following the staggering result in West Lothian.

Hearts defender Clevid Dikamona tore his thigh muscle against Livingston. Pic: SNS

Hearts defender Clevid Dikamona tore his thigh muscle against Livingston. Pic: SNS

Manager Craig Levein is now without three centre-backs due to injury in Dikamona, John Souttar and Jimmy Dunne. Captain Christophe Berra returned earlier this month from a four-month absence, while striker Steven Naismith is on the cusp of a first-team comeback. Fellow forward Uche Ikpeazu is several weeks away.

Dikamona was substituted during the first half of Friday’s encounter after pulling up while in pursuit of Livingston forward Dolly Menga. Speaking to the Evening News, Levein explained the diagnosis.

“Clevid has torn his thigh muscle. It’s bad enough that he will be out for the games between now and the winter break,” said the manager, still furious at his team losing five goals in 14 minutes to Livingston.

“I didn’t give the players an opportunity to speak at the end. For me, it was just embarrassing. I really couldn’t see it coming,” added Levein.

“Usually they roll their sleeves up and have a go. I think a combination of things knocked the wind out of their sails. By the time they had refocused we had lost another couple of goals. It’s just not acceptable.”

Hearts were reduced to ten men at 1-0 down when Arnaud Djoum was ordered off for a second yellow card. Levein refused to accept that as an excuse.

“When we go down to ten men people have to work harder, not do less. I felt we did less after we went down to ten than we did before that point,” he said. “I don’t believe for one second that Arnaud was the player who was holding us together up until his red card.

“Everybody has to take a look at themselves and give the supporters some hope that a performance like that won’t happen again.”