‘We can’t afford to take our foot off the gas’ – Craig Levein urges Hearts players to push for cup final spot

Craig Levein has told Hearts players they cannot relax ahead of the Scottish Cup final as he wants an extra push from those fighting for places.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 7:30 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 10:15 am
Craig Levein says Hearts have plenty to play for between now and the Scottish Cup final on May 25

The Edinburgh club face Kilmarnock, Aberdeen and Celtic in the league before meeting the Glasgow side again at Hampden Park on May 25.

Manager Levein is urging his squad to be relentless during the final three Premiership matches to ensure they hit the final with momentum.

He was encouraged by their recovery from 1-0 down to draw 1-1 with Hibs on Sunday and told the Evening News that they must build on that result against Kilmarnock this weekend.

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“It’s a message for everybody that we’ve got an awful lot still to play for this season,” said Levein. “We can’t afford to take our foot off the gas. I would hope we’d get an extra spark.

“That’s why I was annoyed with the performance against Rangers the other week when we lost 3-1. It didn’t look like we were playing for places in a cup final, or even to be in the team for the derby the next week.

“It’s important we keep our foot to the floor so that nobody lets up at all until the season is actually finished.”

Levein said last month: “I’m hoping that between now and the cup final we get some really good performances in the league because there are certainly places available for the people who want them the most.

“I would think it will give us an extra spring in our step because there’ll be competition for places.”