‘Hoops in Scot­tish league of their own’

Evening Times - - SPORT - By DAVID BAR­CLAY

CRAIG LEVEIN ad­mits Celtic are so far ahead of the rest of Scot­tish foot­ball that his spy­ing mis­sion at Hamilton last Fri­day was a waste of time.

Hearts make the trip to the Su­perseal sta­dium to­mor­row but Levein con­cedes he learned noth­ing new from Ac­cies’ 4-1 de­feat to Bren­dan Rodgers’ side.

Four days later, Levein watched how the do­mes­tic gulf is be­ing repli­cated at Euro­pean level af­ter PSG, in­clud­ing £364mil­lion pair Ney­mar and Kylian Mbappe, ran riot on their way to win­ning 5-0 in a Cham­pi­ons League clash.

He said: “I went to watch Hamilton on Fri­day against Celtic. Cer­tain things come back and I’m think­ing ‘why am I watch­ing this?’

“They are clearly very far ahead of the rest in terms of Scot­land.”

Levein is hop­ing to kick-start Hearts’ sea­son with three points at Hamilton af­ter be­ing de­nied a win­ning re­turn to the dugout in last week­end’s goal-less draw with Aberdeen fol­low­ing a goal­keep­ing mas­ter­class from Joe Lewis.

He added: “I’m still dis­ap­pointed we never won the game, that will never change. We need wins, it’s a sim­ple game – you need to win.

“We in­tend to do our best to win the game on Satur­day but we have to recog­nise that our record through there is not par­tic­u­larly good and it will be a tough match, it will be a fight but it al­ways is. We have to go and be pre­pared for that.”

Levein won’t un­der­es­ti­mate Ac­cies and ad­mits he’s a fan of the work be­ing car­ried out in La­nark­shire by gaffer Martin Can­ning.

He added: “Hamilton are a tough team to play against, we haven’t won against them in a while, which tells its own story.

“They are very well or­gan­ised and I’m a big fan of Martin and the peo­ple at Hamilton who stuck with him last sea­son af­ter a tough spell.

“He’s got the team head­ing in the right di­rec­tion so it will be a hard game for us. What will be en­cour­ag­ing is that we have sold a fair num­ber of tick­ets and there will be quite a big trav­el­ling sup­port com­ing through, so that will help us.”

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