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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.