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Aug 4, 2019 at 3pm UK at Pittodrie Stadium
Attendance: 16,410
Cosgrove (13', 80' pen.), Hedges (85')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Naismith (68'), Walker (76')
Hickey (79')

Levein backs Hearts to rediscover killer touch ahead of Premiership opener

Levein backs Hearts to rediscover killer touch ahead of Premiership opener
© Reuters
Hearts have not been shy in getting forward in their first two Betfred Cup clashes.

Craig Levein expects Hearts to rediscover their killer touch in time for their opening Ladbrokes Premiership duel with Aberdeen.

The Jambos, who kick off their league campaign away to the Dons a week on Sunday, have not been shy in getting forward in their first two Betfred Cup clashes.

But despite creating plenty of openings against Dundee United and Cowdenbeath, they have found the net just three times.

Levein, though, is confident his side will have sharpened up in front of goal by the time they face Derek McInnes' team at Pittodrie.

The Hearts boss – whose side welcome Stenhousemuir to Tynecastle for their penultimate Group A clash on Wednesday night – said: "We've been good. We've played well in both matches in fairly long spells.

"We've created an awful lot of chances – we haven't taken as many as we would like, of course, but that's something we can work on in training.

"It's a very short time between coming back and playing our first competitive match but I've been relatively happy with the way things have gone so far."

Levein is hopeful Steven Naismith will be back fit and able to finally make last season's loan switch from Norwich into a permanent arrangement before the Aberdeen clash.

But Peter Haring appears to be in for a further two-month wait before he can return from a niggling pelvic problem.

Conor Washington and Harry Cochrane could also sit out the Stenny showdown, although Levein is not overly concerned.

"Conor's back's a bit tight, so is Harry's," he explained. "That's why they weren't involved at the weekend – it's not a major problem – and I don't know if either of them will be fit to play on Wednesday.

"But I'm sure if they don't play on Wednesday they will be fit to play at the weekend."

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Greg Stewart in action for Aberdeen on May 13, 2018
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