Hearts boss unsure if Uche Ikpeazu will be fit for Hibs clash

Hearts boss Craig Levein is unsure if Uche Ikpeazu will be fit for the upcoming games.

Saturday, 30th March 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Saturday, 30th March 2019, 4:58 pm
Craig Levein was delighted with his side's win over Aberdeen. Picture: SNS

The Englishman was subbed off in the 81st minute after clashing heads with Aberdeen's Dom Ball before hitting the turf awkwardly.

Dazed, Ikpeazu left the field before being taken away on a stretcher by medical staff.

He had earlier netted what proved to be the winner as Hearts came from behind to defeat Aberdeen 2-1.

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The Tynecastle side have games against Rangers and Hibs in the next week and a Scottish Cup semi-final on the horizon.

Levein is unsure if the player is concussed, if so there is a protocol in place to protect the player and to ensure he does not play if not 100 per cent, which could lead him to miss crucial fixtures.

"How they diagnose what's what I don't know," he said. "We just have to wait and see. I can do the manager and director of football but I don't know about doing the doc's job as well. The medical team are dealing with him.

"He's a bit dazed. I think he hit his head on the turf when he landed, that what's I saw. Maybe there was a clash of heads as well.

"If he's out the coming game it will be a concern for us, obviously."

He added: "I thought his play was fantastic today under what I thought was a lot of provocation.

"The two centre-backs, one of them would hold him, the other would win the header. It happened I don't know how many times in the match and he showed great strength of character not to get involved.

"All credit to him, he's been a real handful. I thought the two centre halves for Aberdeen really struggled to cope with him today.

"I keep saying this, because he is stronger than other people he gets penalised and I think that's grossly unfair."

Levein was pleased with his team's second-half performance after bouncing back from trailing 1-0 at the interval.

"I think there was a bit of the Hamilton match still in our system in the first half, although the first half was fairly even," he said.

"We didn't play with enough bravery, particularly in our positioning. Everybody was a wee bit scared, we were too deep, we couldn't get pressure on Aberdeen's defence because the distances were too big from our starting positions.

"It was just about trying to take the shackles off a little bit. Once we started playing higher up the field and Craig Wighton and Sean (Clare) got closer to Uche then things started to happen for us.

He added: "In all honesty, the second half, we were almost completely dominant."