Four new recruits to feature in Hearts’ final tour match
Four new recruits should make their Hearts debuts today in the pre-season friendly with Glenavon.
Craig Halkett, Aidy White, Conor Washington and Jamie Walker are all scheduled to play at Mourneview Park in Lurgan, Northern Ireland.
The second and final game of the club’s Irish tour kicks off at 2pm and was arranged as part of Bobby Burns’ transfer from Glenavon to Tynecastle Park last summer.
Craig Levein intends to field a strong side after Monday’s 7-0 victory against Shelbourne in the Republic. “Uche Ikpeazu will be involved, as will John Souttar and Craig Halkett,” he said.
“I think Aidy White will be alright to play for a period. Oliver Bozanic didn’t play the other night. Conor Washington should be okay and there’s Jamie Walker as well. There will be quite a change from Monday.”
Burns will feature and Levein is keen to see how his midfield shapes up. The out-of-contract Arnaud Djoum is unlikely to return and Olly Lee is surplus to requirements. Hearts won’t move for a new midfielder just yet despite rumours about the former Celtic player Youssouf Mulumbu.
“We haven’t discussed him,” said Levein. “Arnaud is away, I don’t know if he’s coming back. If Olly Lee leaves then we will need another midfielder. I don’t know if we will do anything right now. I’m quite happy to get Peter Haring back into action and work with the ones we have.
“Ryan Edwards has kicked on a bit and can help us. We have Harry Cochrane, Oliver Bozanic and Andy Irving so I don’t want to bring somebody in. If Olly leaves I probably will, but I also want to give an opportunity to the younger ones to see if they can step forward.”
Steven Naismith remains a free agent following the expiry of his Norwich City contract. Hearts hope to sign him later this summer to further strengthen their attack. “He’s out of contract so he can go anywhere he wants. He is getting treatment back in Edinburgh just now,” said Levein.