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Levein: Hearts capable of 'one more big performance' in final

The manager says he will rest players in league games ahead of the Scottish Cup final.

Hearts boss Craig Levein is confident that his squad can raise their game for "one more big performance" in the Scottish Cup final against Celtic.

The Tynecastle side have had a disappointing league campaign but could yet finish the season in style if they can defeat 'triple treble'-hunting Celtic at Hampden on May 25.

Levein says he's seen enough in certain games this season to suggest his players can hit the heights in the showpiece game to lift silverware.

"What's encouraging for me is that when it comes to the cup final, I believe we've got one more big performance in us and that's what we're looking for," he said. 

"Looking at us sporadically over the last wee while, we've picked up a few results when we needed to.

"We haven't been at our best recently but I do believe we can pull out a performance when needed.

"If I can make sure everybody who I feel can help us on that particular day is fit and available, then that will give us the best chance possible."

That squad management means the manager will take no risks with injured duo Uche Ikpeazu and Peter Haring. With league matches against Aberdeen and Celtic to go before the Hampden date, the duo have already been ruled out of the game against Derek McInnes' side but could return for the dress rehearsal against the champions.

"I'll make some changes over the next couple of games for sure," said Levein. "There are some people who need matches and others who could do with a break.

"That's the challenge working back the way from the game at Hampden."

Levein reitierated that points from the final league games weren't the priority with his focus on engineering one last push when there's a trophy on the line.

He said: "I'd like to be in great form going into the final but if we're not, I'm not particularly concerned about that.

"We've proved we can raise our game for particular matches and that's what we'll need to do.

"If that is the case then it's incumbent on me we get as many players fit and available so selection can be from a wide band."

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