Craig Levein has advised Hearts midfielder Peter Haring to maintain his form if he hopes to capture the attention of the Austria coach Franco Foda.
Despite needing a hernia operation, Haring has established himself as a linchpin of the team at Tynecastle Park since arriving from SV Ried in June. His profile has risen since he left the Austrian second division for Scotland but he faces tough competition for an international call-up.
Foda’s midfield is strong with heavy influence from the German Bundesliga. Names like captain Julian Baumgartlinger of Bayer Leverkusen, RB Leipzig’s Stefan IIsanker and Alessandro Schopf of Schalke are already key players for Austria.
Levein explained to the Evening News that all Haring can do is ensure he stands out at Hearts and wait to see if Foda visits Edinburgh to assess him.
“Peter just needs to keep doing what he’s doing and, if he does that, he can’t do anything more,” said Levein, who managed Scotland between 2009 and 2012.
“I always think players can’t force their way into international squads. They just have to play well and let people come and watch them. Then word of mouth gets round that they’re in good form.
“I’ve had the job of an international manager and part of your responsibility in that role is to know your players; to know who is doing well where. That doesn’t mean the international manager hasn’t got better players. All Peter can do is just keep playing well.”
Haring has captained Hearts in recent matches following a spate of injuries. Club captain Christophe Berra is sidelined, as is deputy captain John Souttar and third-in-command Steven Naismith.
His influence on the team means his operation is being delayed for now. “Peter has obviously that these little niggling injuries. We’ve certainly got to the bottom of the problem. Whether we can nurse him through until January till he gets a hernia op, we’ll see,” said Levein.