Craig Levein looks for Hearts new stand to make some noise

It can crackle all too much when Celtic come to town and Hearts manager Craig Levein hopes to feel that force in an new improved way today when Tynecastle plays host to its most high-profile occasion since the main stand was rebuilt, writes Andrew Smith.

Craig Levein in front of the new main stand at Tynecastle. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS
Craig Levein in front of the new main stand at Tynecastle. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

The Edinburgh club are unbeaten in the five games they have hosted since their return to Gorgie but the visit of Celtic is a step up for Levein’s side. The Scottish champions have won nine and drawn one of their past ten matches at the ground. No wonder Levein hopes it is more than the old wooden structure in Gorgie that has been consigned to the past.

“The good thing that I am really looking forward to on Sunday is the real effect of the new stand,” he said. “Tynecastle is a place I have always associated with feeling good. As a player, I always felt good coming here, just walking through the door I always felt that although anybody could come and take us on we would always go toe to toe with them.

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“For a wee while we have not been like ourselves and there has been lots of different reasons for that.

“We need to get back to that point where everybody talks about Tynecastle as a brilliant stadium. They might not enjoy a lot of success here but they say it’s a brilliant stadium.”

For Hearts to stop Celtic racking up their 70th domestic game without defeat, the planets must align but Levein draws encouragement from Motherwell and Hibernian giving them real scares with draws in recent weeks.

“If Celtic play at their absolute best they will win. But the fact is they won’t do that every week. It’s impossible. I would imagine Celtic have underperformed in the last couple of matches. I hope they underperform against us.”