Australian midfielder Oliver Bozanic could play a vital role at Hearts for the rest of the season after drawing praise from manager Craig Levein.
Peter Haring’s injury absence has allowed Bozanic to thrive in his favoured central midfield role in recent weeks. He wasn’t required against Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup last weekend but is competing for a place in the starting line-up when league business resumes at Motherwell on Sunday.
Levein signed the 30-year-old from Melbourne City last summer and has seen him gradually rise to prominence in Edinburgh. He applauded the player’s contribution to Hearts’ recent run of six wins in eight games.
“Oli has done a fantastic job and has generally been in good form lately. He is one of those players who does a lot of the unseen, off-the-ball hard work. He is competitive and that’s needed in the team,” said Levein.
“Peter Haring did a lot of that for us until he got injured and Oli does a similar thing. He deserves huge credit. I thought he was excellent in our win at Kilmarnock on top of the performance he put in against St Johnstone.”
Bozanic has made 22 appearances for Hearts so far this season and scored two goals. He faces stiff competition in midfield from the likes of Olly Lee, Arnaud Djoum and Harry Cochrane as well as Haring.