Hearts manager Craig Levein confident training-ground work will produce goals

Craig Levein reckons two goals will kick-off a run
Craig Levein reckons two goals will kick-off a run
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Craig Levein believes all it will take to revitalise Hearts’ forwards is a couple of goals as he searches for the perfect combination without top goalscorer Steven Naismith.

Levein insisted he feels relaxed about the options open to him despite 14-goal Naismith’s absence after knee surgery. Hearts have managed only four goals in four games since he was sidelined but the 32-year-old is fighting to return before the season ends.

Trying to compensate for his unavailability are fellow strikers Uche Ikpeazu, Steven MacLean, David Vanecek, Craig Wighton and Aidan Keena. They are all jostling for places up front ahead of Saturday’s Premiership meeting with Aberdeen.

Levein told the Evening News that he is not short on choices and is content that those who are fit have what it takes to score goals for Hearts at the so-called business end of the campaign.

“I’ve got Uche, MacLean, Vanecek and Keena. Also, I think Wighton has done well in the last two or three games,” explained Levein. “I’d rather have Steven available, of course, but I don’t feel like I did earlier in the season that there isn’t a solution there. I’m quite relaxed about it.

“This issue only arises because we aren’t scoring as many goals as we were earlier in the season. That’s something we can work at on the training ground. All it needs is for us to get a couple of goals and we will be off and running again.”

Saturday’s match begins a period of crucial games for Hearts. They travel to Ibrox to face Rangers on Wednesday and then host Edinburgh rivals Hibs at Tynecastle Park a week on Saturday.

After that comes the Scottish Cup semi-final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Hampden Park.