Hearts boss Craig Levein will rest his skipper Christophe Berra

Craig Levein plans to rest Hearts captain Christophe Berra against Stenhousemuir on Wednesday as he continues his policy of rotating his main centre-backs in the Betfred Cup.

Monday, 22nd July 2019, 6:30 am
Updated Monday, 22nd July 2019, 7:30 am
Christophe Berra applauds the fans at Cowdenbeath
Christophe Berra applauds the fans at Cowdenbeath

The addition of former Livingston captain Craig Halkett this summer has bolstered the Tynecastle side’s options in central defence. John Souttar and Christophe Berra started the Betfred Cup opener against Dundee United and Halkett subsequently replaced Souttar for the 2-0 win at Cowdenbeath last Tuesday. Halkett and Souttar are set to play together against League Two side Stenny at Tynecastle.

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“I’ve got the luxury of having three really, really good centre-backs,” Levein told the Evening News. “Clevid (Dikamona) is also a good player and Alex Petkov has been doing well. Christophe has played the last two games so he’ll miss out for the Stenhousemuir game. That’ll mean John will have played two, Christophe will have played two and Craig will have played two. I’m trying to keep them all fresh.”

Levein currently has a large squad, with several youngsters pressing for involvement this season. Midfielder Olly Lee is expected to move on soon and the manager is in the process of assessing his squad before deciding if anyone else will move on, with the club set to continue their policy of loaning out some young players for first-team experience.

“I’m not sure yet if there will be any departures,” said Levein. “I’ve got to make some decisions on loans. As I’ve discussed previously, Olly is looking for something down the road so that might happen. He’s been injured which doesn’t make that easy. I think he’ll be fit enough to get a move in the window. He’s back in training so he’s not far away.”