Hearts squad rebuild could take two transfer windows

Craig Levein admits he'll have to 'create headroom to bring people in' at Hearts
Craig Levein admits he'll have to 'create headroom to bring people in' at Hearts
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Hearts manager Craig Levein admits it could take another two transfer windows before his team is in the shape he wants.

He plans to address some positions in January but may need to wait till the summer window before his squad is fully rebuilt.

In an open interview with the Evening News, Levein today outlined his ethos on what his ideal Hearts team would look like. Some players will be invited to leave in January to create space and free up wages as the manager identifies the new recruits he wants.

He has yet to discuss in detail his plans with club owner Ann Budge, but Levein provided an insight into his thinking when asked what January will bring.

“I haven’t sat down with Ann and gone through this. The safest thing in these situations is to assume you need to create headroom to bring people in,” said Levein, who replaced Ian Cathro in charge at Tynecastle in September.

“There are a number of players here who have not been playing. They aren’t causing any bother, they just want to play. That is a situation which normally resolves itself.

“Everybody has a different idea of what they think makes a team. Robbie Neilson was different, Ian is different, I’m different. My views on it are pretty simple, really. We need to get ourselves into a position where the spine of the team is really strong, and we have speed on the outsides. We aren’t there yet.

“The balance has to be good. We need to have right-footed and left-footed players in the correct positions and we don’t have that yet, either. It will take a period of time. There isn’t really an awful lot I can do about it until the window opens. Hopefully, in January, I can fix some of these things. If not, I’ll be able to do it in the summer. Your team is a work in progress until you get to a point where you know your players and they do what you want them to do. Then you put your eleven players out on the field, you have your subs and you know what they can do. Somebody goes out and somebody else comes in. Then you’re in a position where you’ve got a settled team. We aren’t in that 
position. It just takes time. In the meantime, it’s about trying to win as many games as you can.”