Craig Levein pleased as spirited Hearts nullify Rangers

Craig Levein praised his Hearts team for knocking Rangers out of their stride after they gained a morale-boosting 1-1 draw against the high-flying Ibrox side.

By Anthony Brown
Sunday, 20th October 2019, 4:11 pm
Updated Sunday, 20th October 2019, 5:11 pm
Craig Levein was encouraged by Hearts display.
Craig Levein was encouraged by Hearts display.

The Tynecastle side, who started the day second-bottom of the Premiership, defied the odds to take a point at home to Steven Gerrard’s team.

Ryotaro Meshino gave the hosts an early lead before Alfredo Morelos levelled six minutes before the break. Thereafter, Hearts generally contained Rangers well.

“I'm pleased,” said Levein. “A little bit irritated about the way we lost the goal at a set piece but the commitment, the effort and the competitive edge was there. It was very apparent we needed that.

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“In every game you want to do two things well, you want to defend properly and attack with a real threat. The worst you want to get is at least defending properly and being committed and competitive. I thought we did that. Some of our play was pretty good but we can do better in an attacking sense. We spoke about Rangers getting into any sort of rhythm and I didn’t feel that they got into any sort of rhythm today. I didn’t feel they started opening us up and the players have to take a huge amount of credit for that.”

Levein, whose side climbed above city rivals Hibs on goal difference to move into tenth place, has called on his side to show a similar level of intensity in their upcoming fixtures. “The test is now to find that every single week,” he said. “There's no point doing it today then not doing ourselves justice next week.

"When we're favourites here and we have loads of the ball, we get a bit nervous. In these matches, the games against Aberdeen and Hibs, we played well because it's more of a level competition. I feel that it was important today that we showed our supporters that we're fighting and desperate to do well, just as they are.”