January window cannot come soon enough for Hearts boss Craig Levein

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January cannot come soon enough for Hearts boss Craig Levein, who says he is keen to strengthen his squad this winter.

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Hearts manager Craig Levein. Picture: SNS

Hearts manager Craig Levein. Picture: SNS

The Jambos have suffered a turbulent start to the season, with Ian Cathro sacked early in the season and uncertainty over a return to Tynecastle.

The redeveloped ground was opened on Sunday against Partick Thistle after significant delays which forced the club to play their ‘home’ games at BT Murrayfield, and that uncertainty has spilled over onto the pitch, with Hearts sitting in seventh place with just four wins all season.

Levein, who took over at the club in late August, admits he needs more players in the transfer window to put his stamp on the side and he may be forced to let players go.

“We have an imbalance and things we need to fix,” he said ahead of their game with Ross County.

“We need a left back, we need width and pace and we could do with a goal-scoring midfield player, so I’d better get my shopping list out!

“Like everything, come January we will probably need to make some headroom before we can do anything else.”

He added: “Every time you come into a club, you have to assess (the squad).

“Every manager wants to play a different way. A lot of the principles might be the same, but positions change and you’re looking for different things in different areas.

“My game is slightly different to Ian’s, which was slightly different to Robbie’s (Cathro’s predecessor, Nielsen).

“I like to play with a strong core of the team and pace on the outside with a balance of left and right footed players if possible, so we’re a wee bit away from that.”

However despite the expense of redeveloping a stand, Levein expects to be given the necessary funds by chairwoman Anne Budge.

He said: “Anne and the directors have been very supportive of every manager - I hope there’s some money left for me!

“The club have been hugely supportive in the past three years and I think that will continue.”

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