MX23RW : Thursday, June 17 07:37:47| >> :120:47554:47554:
Mar 12, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at Tynecastle
Attendance: 10,351
Hearts
2-1
PartickPartick Thistle
Ikpeazu (24'), Clare (35' pen.)
FT(HT: 2-1)
McDonald (17')

Craig Levein defends Uche Ikpeazu from Gary Caldwell criticism

Craig Levein defends Uche Ikpeazu from Gary Caldwell criticism
© Reuters
Ikpeazu was accused of falling over "like my little girl in the park" by Partick Thistle boss Caldwell.

Hearts manager Craig Levein has suggested Partick Thistle counterpart Gary Caldwell was "talking rubbish" with his complaints over Uche Ikpeazu's penalty award.

Jags boss Caldwell accused the Jambos striker of falling over "like my little girl in the park" after he won a spot-kick following a tangle with Blair Spittal during Tuesday's William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final replay.

But Levein – whose side claimed a 2-1 win to set up a semi-final showdown with Inverness – leapt to the defence of his forward as he shrugged off the simulation storm.

And the Tynecastle boss insisted it is no wonder Ikpeazu sometimes finds himself on the deck given some of the heavy challenges he has had to put up with since making his move north from Cambridge last summer.

"Managers sometimes talk rubbish," said Levein before joking: "I include myself in that."

He added: "Uche is a significant player for us. He doesn't half get some rough treatment. Just because he's a big guy it doesn't mean it's OK to have a pop at him.

"To be fair he's handled it well. I don't know if I'd have been quite as calm under the provocation he gets.

"He gets fouled a lot. People are trying to to prove they're stronger than him – but it's not very easy because he is such an athlete. He's a strong boy.

"He's new in the league and referees are trying to work him out. But you shouldn't be penalised for being stronger than somebody. He quite often does.

"He gets a lot of rough treatment and the conclusion to that is you go to ground. But I don't think he should be getting penalised for that."

Meanwhile, Levein confirmed reports Hearts hope to land Craig Halkett on a pre-contract this summer as he admitted he was "interested" in the Livingston defender.

He also broke the news that Clevid Dikamona had signed a one-year contract extension that ties him to the club until the summer of 2020.

And the Congolese defender told the Hearts website: "I'm very happy because I have another year to show that I can bring something to this team.

"Of course, I have enjoyed my time at Hearts so far. Every year, since I started playing football, I have aimed to play at a higher level and now I am at a big club in Hearts.

"We are playing for the top spots in the league, Europe and a cup final and I hope that next season we can play for even more."

There was further good news for Levein after surgeons confirmed Steven Naismith should be back in a Hearts shirt before the end of the season after a successful knee operation on Monday.

"It went very well," said the Hearts boss ahead of Saturday's Hamilton trip. "I think there's a decent chance he'll play again before the end of the season.

"When you have a player of his calibre injured it obviously does have an effect on the team.

"So it will be a boost to have him back for the run in. I don't know exactly when he'll be back but he did recover quickly the last time he was out."

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, Press Association Sport');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0fcf6476-c9fd-49a5-94db-dde2573dd5f2');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Craig Levein defends Uche Ikpeazu from Gary Caldwell criticism'});

ID:353371: cacheID:353371:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:5692:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Gary Caldwell in charge of Wigan Athletic in July 2016
Read Next:
Thistle boss Caldwell frustrated after being denied penalty
>

rhs 2.0
Euro 2020 fixtures
Thursday, June 17, 2021
 
5pm
Friday, June 18, 2021
 
2pm
Saturday, June 19, 2021
 
2pm
 
8pm
Sunday, June 20, 2021
 
5pm
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Aberdeen00000000
2Celtic00000000
3Dundee00000000
4Dundee UnitedDundee Utd00000000
5Hearts00000000
6Hibernian00000000
7Livingston00000000
8Motherwell00000000
9RangersRangers00000000
10Ross County00000000
11St Johnstone00000000
12St Mirren00000000

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!