Hearts boss Craig Levein has good news on the injury front ahead of Scottish Cup final

© SNS Group / Paul DevlinHearts manager Craig Levein
Hearts manager Craig Levein

Hearts boss Craig Levein revealed good news on the injury front ahead of the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Celtic at Hampden Park on Saturday.

There were doubts over Peter Haring (groin), Uche Ikpeazu (hamstring) and Arnaud Djoum (Achilles) and the trio all missed Sunday’s 2-1 league defeat by Celtic at Parkhead on the last day of the Ladbrokes Premiership season where midfielder Olly Lee picked up a knee injury which rules him out.

However, speaking at the national stadium, Levein said: “I am confident that everyone we were worried about – other than Steven Naismith and Olly Lee who picked up an injury against Celtic – has done enough to make me think they can be useful.

“I still haven’t got a definitive team in my head because I need to look at some of those players who haven’t played or haven’t trained an awful lot.

“I am not certain that they will all last 90 minutes and the game might go on longer than that so that side of things I need to manage carefully.

“But the good news, if we don’t get any problems in training tomorrow, is that most of our injuries have cleared up.”

The former Hearts defender admits he is looking at all options in terms of team selection and tactics.

Levein added: “It is part of the job, to try to use each of the players in the best way possible.

“Considering how much energy they have is very important.

“There are various different scenarios which could happen within the match and the best thing is to have a plan for all of those things so that’s what we are trying to do at this moment in time.”

Celtic are aiming for an unprecedented triple treble but the former Scotland manager, who has never won a trophy as a player or boss, had his response ready.

He said: “We are going for the single single. It is just as important to us.

“We have recent history of beating Celtic and I feel that the preparation for the game, particularly the last two or three weeks has gone extremely well, especially getting those players back, makes me feel better.

“The proof will be in the pudding of course but we can beat Celtic, we have proven that, we have got a big occasion in us, I am certain of that.

“It is just about all of us bringing our A-game at the right time and possibly having the rub of the green as well, that will be needed.

Hearts have only won one game in the last eight but Levein insists his players are ready to lift the trophy for the first time since 2012.

He said: “They have had a frustrating season as well but they all came to Hearts to be involved in occasions like the one we will be involved in on Saturday.

“There is no place for feeling nervous, they all signed up to play in this type of occasion.

“For me it is excitement, that is the over-riding feeling at this moment in time and I am sure that the players will be the same.

“I don’t feel that our run of form has any bearing whatsoever on what we will do on Saturday.

“It sounds a bit counter-intuitive but it gives me great hope, that we have beaten Celtic already, we can do it again.”