Hearts boss Craig Levein has told Hearts youngsters they must be patient after teenage striker Aidan Keena after he hit his first senior goal for the Jambos at the weekend.

After returning early from a loan spell with Dunfermline, Keena hit the net against Auchinleck on Sunday – before bagging a hat-trick for the reserves the following day.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 22: Hearts manager Craig Levein during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Hearts at Pittodrie Stadium on December 22, 2018 in Aberdeen, Scotland.

(Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

With a number of options available, Levein admitted that the younger players will need to be patient in their quest for first-team football.

“Aidan will get opportunities but they won’t be every week,” Levein told the Edinburgh Evening News.

WAYNE ROONEY TO EVERTON IS A JOKE.

We have a stronger squad this year, it’s not quite the same as it was last year so the younger ones have to be a little bit more patient.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Aidan Keena of Hearts celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal during the Scottish Cup 5th Round match between Heart of Midlothian and Auchinleck Talbot at Tynecastle Stadium on February 10, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Aidan is a goal-poacher. He has an eye for goal. He shows composure in the penalty box, which you saw with his goal on Sunday. I’ve been pleased with him, that’s why we brought him back from Dunfermline. I was thrilled seeing him get his first goal. He is a hard-working, honest laddie.”

Keena scored four times in 12 appearances on loan at Dunfermline before being recalled last month.

After making his debut for the Jambos earlier in the season, he joined the Pars on a season-long loan.

The Irishman impressed enough at East End Park to be brought back to Tynecastle six months early.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Aidan Keena of Hearts scores his team's fourth goal during the Scottish Cup 5th Round match between Heart of Midlothian and Auchinleck Talbot at Tynecastle Stadium on February 10, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Tynecastle side find themselves three points off Aberdeen and Kilmarnock in the league table.

With 13 games left in the campaign, there’s a distinct possibility of European football for Hearts next season.

Keena’s recent impressive form could see him play a vital role in securing a return to the Europa League.

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