Levein staying involved as he looks to return for Motherwell match

Hearts manager Craig Levein has set his sights on a return to the dugout on September 15 following his heart scare – but he will pick the team for Saturday’s visit of St Mirren as he recuperates at home.

Levein announced on Twitter that he plans to be in the dugout for the visit of Motherwell, meaning he will only miss one match with the international break to come next weekend.

The 53-year-old was taken to hospital on Monday morning but is now recovering at home following emergency treatment, and he thanked the coronary care unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for their swift action.

The former Scotland boss wrote: “I’d like everyone to know that I’m feeling great and aiming to be back in the dugout for the Motherwell match, all being well. I’d like to thank the paramedics and all staff in the CCU at ERI for their care and professionalism.

“I’d also like to thank the professional footballing family for their amazing support, it’s been overwhelming. Huge respect and gratitude to the Hearts supporters and those of other clubs ( including our friends across the city )who have taken time to wish me well.”

Assistant manager Austin MacPhee will take control during Saturday’s game but he earlier revealed that Levein was having his input during a busy week for the league leaders.

MacPhee said: “He’s recovering well. He’s home now and he’s in very good spirits and we are all delighted that that’s the case.

“Craig will pick the team at the weekend. At individual moments within the game, myself, Liam Fox, Jon Daly, Paul (Gallacher), Andy Kirk in the stand, we will all make those individual decisions but I will have talked through every eventuality with him.

“I don’t know what he will be doing at 3pm on Saturday but the main thing for all of us is we put in a performance that he will be proud of, of course a performance that allows us to win the game, and also put in a performance that makes him feel that he can relax about his recovery.”

MacPhee revealed positive news quickly allayed major fears within Tynecastle after Levein was taken ill early on Monday morning.

MacPhee added: “It was a massive shock for us all. (Owner) Ann Budge phoned me on Monday morning and when you first hear news about someone you are close to, it’s shocking news.

“The best thing is that a couple of hours later we had positive news and he was already on the road to recovery. He is itching to get back. He’ll be back as soon as he can.”

Hearts re-signed Demetri Mitchell on loan on Tuesday and are “very hopeful” of also bringing Dundee forward Craig Wighton to Tynecastle. And Levein has been involved as MacPhee, Budge and others within the club put the final touches to the summer transfer window plans.

“I have been speaking to him every day and working with Ann on the transfers,” MacPhee said. “He is fully abreast on all the developments.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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