David Vanecek remains way down the pecking order at Hearts but manager Craig Levein is not ruling out recalling the Czech striker before the season ends. Injuries in attack are mounting, which may result in out-of-favour Vanecek being brought in from the cold.
Levein told the Evening News that the player is lacking confidence after a difficult start to life at Tynecastle Park. He arrived from FK Teplice in January but has started only four matches and hasn’t managed a first-team appearance in almost two months.
With Steven Naismith and Aidan Keena nursing knee injuries and Uche Ikpeazu tweaking a hamstring against Kilmarnock on Saturday, Craig Wighton and the veteran Steven MacLean are the only forwards available to Levein.
That could lead to Vanecek making an unexpected appearance despite being out of the picture for several weeks. Hearts travel to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen on Friday night before ending their Premiership campaign away to Celtic the following weekend. Levein explained that he is considering all options, including Vanecek.
“He hasn’t been right up to speed. He is still training and he is fit enough but I just don’t think he is in a great place with his confidence,” Levein told the Evening News.
“I’m not ruling out using him because if we have any more problems then, obviously, I will need to either play somebody out of position or use David.
“He is getting there with his fitness. I don’t know if he would be able to play a full 90 minutes at full pace. I don’t think he would, but he would be fit enough to play. I think his confidence has been dented a little bit by everything. So we will see.”