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Levein sounds upbeat note, despite Naismith injury setback

Hearts manager Craig Levein feels the “enormous” lift of their derby win can fire them to cup success this week.

And Levein is further encouraged by an improving injury situation despite losing Steven Naismith for several more weeks.

Hearts’ 2-1 victory at Easter Road on Sunday has lifted some of the pressure on the manager after a poor start to the Ladbrokes Premiership season.

Levein is looking to build on their first league win when they take on Aberdeen in Wednesday’s Betfred Cup quarter-final at Tynecastle, although a hamstring problem will keep Naismith out.

“I think it will be two or three weeks before he’s back,” Levein said. “We just decided to take him back out of training completely just to let the whole thing settle down.

“Peter Haring was at Sunday’s game and he’s back in the fold, so it won’t be long until he is back. Jamie Walker is getting better, it won’t be long until he’s back. Ben Garuccio is getting better, John Souttar is improving as well and getting Mick Smith back in the team was a big thing for us. I thought his calmness in defence was very helpful.

“And I think when we get the other ones back in the team there will be real competition for places. And hopefully we can climb the table and get where we need to be.

“I feel our confidence will grow enormously from this. We have got a hugely difficult game on Wednesday night against Aberdeen and I’m sure that this result and performance will help us in that match.”

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