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Levein: Hearts players' attitude was key to derby win

The Hearts boss says he wants his side to build on the resilience that can grind out results.

Hearts boss Craig Levein has said that his players' mental strength was more important than a tactical tweak in producing a victory in the derby against Hibs.

The Easter Road side had taken the lead through a stunning strike from Stevie Mallan but Hearts equalised through Uche Ikpeazu before Aaron Hickey scored a late goal to hand them their first league win of the season in unlikely circumstance.

A tactical changed preceded the Hearts fightback but Levein was reluctant to put too much weight on the system, saying that the three points were down to his players refusing to buckle.

"Sometimes it's quite easy to say that the change of system affected the match," he said. "I was more interested in the fight of the team and their taking up the challenge when they went behind.

"It would have been so easy for the players to think 'A wonder goal, top corner from 30-odd yards' when Hibs hadn't really troubled us before that.

"It would have been quite easy for the players to let their heads go down. but they didn't.

"I thought they took up the challenge and showed the fight and determination required to come back from a goal down away from home. That give me great encouragement and I see that as more of a factor than the change of shape in the team."

The manager said that the derby win had contributed to a positive atmosphere in training but that he felt a run of results would be needed to really build confidence. Hearts place Aberdeen in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday and Levein said that his side should be building the same habits as that of Derek McInnes' side, who beat Livingston 2-0 on Saturday.

He said: "They didn't play well but they dug a result out so that's where we want to get to - that when we're not playing particularly well at times we still come away with the points.

"That's part of getting into that top four and challenging for the European spots so we want to get to that place as well.

"All credit to Del, his team have been consistently challenging at the top end of the table and competing in Europe so we face a difficult task."

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