Hearts flair trio a worry for Aberdeen boss Craig Brown

ABERDEEN manager Craig Brown is wary of Hearts’ creative players in tonight’s meeting at Pittodrie after admitting that David Templeton, Mehdi Taouil and Andy Driver are a class apart in Scotland.

Driver is in contention to start this evening’s game as Hearts travel north hoping to build on two successive home wins over Dunfermline and Motherwell. Those matches featured sterling performances from both Templeton and Taouil, who appear to have found form in time for the festive period.

Brown spoke to the Evening News today and lamented the fact that Aberdeen, like most Scottish Premier League clubs, are unable to call on such flair. He believes the Hearts triumvirate would be a welcome addition to any SPL side. “Hearts have players who handle the ball really well. The small guys like Taouil, Templeton and Driver are very skilful,” he said. “That’s the main thing they have, creative guys who can beat a man and take care of the football.

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“It’s such a big help having players who are comfortable in possession and those guys certainly excel in that area. Then you’ve got the likes of Mrowiec who is a good dependable operator. Very few clubs in the SPL have that wealth of riches.”

Brown is also an admirer of Ryan Stevenson, who is currently in exile having refused to play for Hearts until his wages are paid up to date. “He will be a real loss to Hearts if he isn’t included,” continued Brown. “He is seemingly in dispute but I knew him from Ayr United because I used to live in Ayr.”

Hearts are without Jamie Hamill due to an ankle injury this evening and Darren Barr is likely to deputise at right-back. Aberdeen have the greater selection problems, however, with Mohamed Chalali and Josh Magennis doubtful.