Craig Levein tells Steven MacLean he is still part of plans at Hearts

Steven MacLean is in contention for a start against Celtic for Hearts. Pic: SNS
Steven MacLean is in contention for a start against Celtic for Hearts. Pic: SNS
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Hearts striker Steven MacLean has been reassured that he remains part of the plans after becoming frustrated by his omission from the team.

MacLean, who turned 37 yesterday, has started only two of his club’s seven competitive matches so far this season. He has made his feelings known but manager Craig Levein today moved to ease the player’s concerns.

Levein is considering whether to start MacLean tomorrow against Celtic after his energetic and determined display as a substitute at Motherwell last Friday.

“Steven is always in my thoughts. He gets frustrated sometimes because he isn’t playing every week but he forgets he’s nearly as old as me,” joked Levein.

“He is a kid at heart. He is always in my thoughts and he is definitely in consideration for tomorrow.”

Levein’s dilemma appears to be who should replace Jamie Walker in the starting line-up following the forward’s broken leg. MacLean came on for Walker in the first half at Fir Park.

Hearts could start the veteran in an attacking midfield role behind Conor Washington tomorrow. However, a three-man central midfield is more likely, with potentially Loic Damour, Glenn Whelan and Andy Irving being flanked by wide players Sean Clare and Jake Mulraney.