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Uche Ikpeazu urges Hearts fans to support “brilliant manager” Craig Levein

Uche Ikpeazu urges Hearts fans to support “brilliant manager” Craig Levein


Uche Ikpeazu told Hearts fans to get behind boss Craig Levein after the Jambos booked their place in the William Hill Scottish Cup final with a 3-0 win over Inverness.

The Gorgie gaffer came in for stinging criticism from a section of the home support after losing to Hibernian in the Edinburgh derby last week.

However, it was all smiles at Hampden Park after 24-year-old Englishman Ikpeazu hammered in the opener early in the second half before racing to celebrate with Levein.

Defender John Souttar added a second in the 66th minute and substitute Sean Clare made it 3-0 from the spot in the 74th after Inverness goalkeeper Mark Ridgers had fouled Ikpeazu, securing a final meeting with either Aberdeen or Celtic.

Afterwards, the former Cambridge United player, who joined the Ladbrokes Premiership side last summer, said: “I say to all the fans who are getting on him, get behind him.

“He is a great manager and we are going to achieve great things.

“Have patience and believe in him because he is a good manager and a good person.

“The owner, the board, my teammates, everyone is supporting him, he is a brilliant manager.

“Yes, results haven’t gone our way but he has got us to a final.

“He has shown a lot of faith in me and he always believes in me and that means a lot.

“First and foremost it is about the team and scoring is amazing. I am delighted.”

Scotland defender Souttar “guessed” that Olly Lee’s corner would find its way to the back post for him to volley in, which it did via the head of Inverness midfielder Charlie Trafford.

He said: “I feel brilliant. It is brilliant to be involved in that sort of occasion.

“That’s why you come to Hearts to play in games like that.

“We have had a difficult spell and now to get to a cup final, do it 3-0 and to score a goal is great.

“I don’t score many, so I just guessed and it is a bit of blur. I caught it on the volley and it went in and it is brilliant for the whole club.”

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