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Halkett insists under-fire Hearts manager Levein has full support of players

Craig Halkett insists Hearts’ players are fully behind manager Craig Levein despite the criticism he has received following their slow start to the season.

Levein’s men find themselves 11th in the Ladbrokes Premiership table after picking up just two points from their first four league games of the new campaign.

Some fans have reacted by calling for Levein to quit but defender Halkett, who moved to Tynecastle from Livingston in the summer, says the boss has the backing of the squad.

“With the results, we’ve been close to getting the three points and it’s been maybe one or two wee mistakes that have cost us,” said Halkett, speaking at the launch of the SPFL Match Attax 2019/20 trading card game.

“So I think as a squad and as a player myself we’re all behind the manager and we don’t think there’s any pressure there just now.

“We’re just four games in and I know as fans it’s disappointing, you want to see your team winning every game. But I think as players and the coaching staff, we know where we’re going wrong and how to rectify that going forward.”

Halkett thinks the international break came at a good time for the club as they prepare to resume their campaign against Motherwell at the weekend.

“Training-wise and as a squad, we’ve done well,” he added. “We’ve worked on quite a few things defensively and going forward so we’re just looking forward to the game on Saturday.

“Obviously the results have not been great so I think it came at a good time for us. Just to get a break from the league and regroup as players and as a squad and management to work on what we’re doing going forward.”

Halkett had been tipped for a call-up to Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad for the recent defeats against Russia and Belgium.

The 24-year-old was not disheartened when the call did not come but he has set his sights on representing his country in the future.

He said: “I wasn’t too disappointed. Obviously it’s a big step in your career to be called up to the national squad.

“It’s something I’d love to do in the future and it’s something I’m striving towards.

“I think with Scotland’s defensive record just now, they’ve got a lot of defenders who have been in and out of the squad. It’s kind of varied over the last few squads.

“So I think there is a gap for other players and new players to get in there.

“Obviously that’s down to the manager who he’s wanting to pick.”

:: Craig Halkett was speaking at the SPFL Match Attax 2019/20 launch – for more news and info follow @ToppsMatchAttax on Twitter and Facebook, @toppsmatchattax_ on Instagram and subscribe to MatchAttaxOFFICIAL on YouTube

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