Oliver Bozanic: Hearts will be stronger with quality rather than quantity
Oliver Bozanic believes Hearts will benefit from an element of continuity this season.
In contrast to the past year, when a total of 18 players were recruited, manager Craig Levein has added only three new faces so far this summer - Conor Washington, Craig Halkett and Jamie Walker. While he still intends to add a new defensive midfielder, Hearts will have fewer new players to integrate into the squad this term. Bozanic, one of last summer’s new arrivals, believes this will stand his team in good stead.
“There was a big turnover last summer and we brought in a lot of new players,” said Bozanic, who will start against Stenhousemuir tonight.
“This season we have only brought in a few new boys so we are a more stable team.
“The players coming in have added more quality to the squad. When a lot of new players come in you have to get to know everyone and how they play, but we haven’t had that this year.
“All the new boys have different attributes and I think we will see some good things from all of the new players this season.”
Aaron Hughes, Conor Shaughnessy, Arnaud Djoum, David Vanecek and Ryan Edwards have all left Hearts since the end of last season, while Olly Lee is also due to depart.
Several academy graduates such as Anthony McDonald, Connor Smith, Aaron Hickey and Andy Irving are being earmarked to fill any voids in the squad and 30-year-old Bozanic is happy to help them integrate into the senior environment.
“I like to help the young guys any way I can,” he said.
“As you get older you try to help them develop. The boys are doing well, but it takes time to adapt to first-team football and have that consistency.
“It is about the older boys helping them through the transition stage of their career. The young lads are good but I know they are trying to take my place in the team as well. But we have all been in their position.
“I just focus on what I have to do to perform at my best and get in the team.”