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Souttar: Scottish Cup win would cap off Hearts' revival

Defender dreams of Hampden victory as reward for Craig Levein's hard work behind the scenes.

Winning the Scottish Cup would be reward for Craig Levein's hard work to restore Heart of Midlothian after administration, according to defender John Souttar.

The 22-year-old, signed in a deadline day transfer from Dundee United in 2016, is in line to start at the heart of the capital club's defence for the cup final against Celtic on Saturday.

Souttar said: "It would cap off everything, the club as a whole and what it has been through.

Final: John Souttar looks ahead to Hampden
Final: John Souttar looks ahead to Hampden SNS Group

"Having been so close [to going out of business] to then go and win the Scottish Cup would be brilliant.

"We started the season so well but injuries have killed us a bit.

"If you offer people to win the cup if it means finishing fifth or sixth, I think the Scottish Cup is the big one - especially at this club and what it has been through.

"It would sort of cap it off since being in administration. I think a lot of people at the club deserve it and it is up to us to bring it home now."

Few would be more deserving of the honour than Levein according to Souttar.

He said: "It would be brilliant for the gaffer. You've seen a bit of his work coming to the fore at the weekend at Celtic Park with [teenagers] Aaron Hickie, Conor Smith and Andy Irving.

"The things you don't necessarily see week-in, week-out - what's happening behind closed doors will start to come to fruition now.

"You saw 16-year-old Hickie coming in, just playing it like any other game - he was so good on the ball.

"People inside the club can see what's happening but it will maybe be a few years before others start to realise it."

Souttar has one, unhappy experience with the Scottish Cup final - he was an unused substitute for Dundee United as they lost 2-0 to St Johnstone in the 2014 showpiece.

He hopes to take what he learned from that hard day in his career into Saturday's clash.

He said: "It was a tough one because I played in the semi-final when we beat Rangers, up against big Jon Daly who's a coach here now.

"It was even harder when we lost it though.

"I found out I wasn't playing on the day of the game. I had played terribly in one of the previous games so that obviously put a doubt in the manager's mind.

"So it was a hope more than an expectation that I would be involved.

"I was only 17, so just to be part of it at that age was good and now I know what to expect from the day."

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