Hearts targeting new club record at Pittodrie

Hearts manager Craig Levein believes his side can win at Aberdeen
Hearts manager Craig Levein believes his side can win at Aberdeen
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Hearts will set a new club record if they keep a clean sheet against Aberdeen tomorrow. Never in their 143-year history have the Tynecastle side gone six consecutive games without losing a goal, but that milestone could be reached at Pittodrie.

Wednesday’s goalless draw with Hibs was Hearts’ fifth successive clean sheet after manager Craig Levein set about improving his back line. Goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin and his defenders could now etch their names in history tomorrow afternoon. Hearts have managed five games without losing a goal on eight separate occasions in the past. They achieved that feat in 1905, 1921, 1936, 1973, 1988, 1991, 1993 and 2010. A sixth shutout would be groundbreaking. Levein will send his team out with the intention of beating Aberdeen but admitted to a fair degree of satisfaction that they are now unbeaten in their last eight games.

“We have got to a level where we are now doing the things we need to do just to make sure we don’t lose matches,” he said.

“The things we need to do to win matches are not too far away either. I’m feeling pretty good about that. The team is still imbalanced and we have to fix that. We also still have injuries, which doesn’t help.

“It would be nice to see the year out unbeaten. Points are good but I’d like to pick up more than just one.

“We want to pick up three points if we can and that’s the aim tomorrow.”

Jamie Walker, Prince Buaben and Michael Smith remain doubtful for the trip north to face an Aberdeen side sitting second in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

“Jamie got a knock on his knee against Hibs. It was pain more than anything else, there isn’t anything structurally wrong with it,” explained Levein.

“He got a kick into his knee joint and was suffering more from pain than anything else. Prince had a groin problem so all credit to them that they were playing on while carrying little things.

“Michael had a problem with his back and I don’t yet know how he will be. We will see how Prince is. We have Harry Cochrane back from suspension and I thought we missed him against Hibs. His composure on the ball would have been an added bonus for us.”

• HEARTS’ Premiership clash away to Ross County on Saturday, February 17 has been switched to a 12.30pm kick-off for live coverage on Sky Sports.