By support

28th Oct, 2017 | 5:38pm

Craig Levein: This player was key to Rangers win over Hearts (not Miller)

By Aramide Oladipo

Hearts manager Craig Levein is convinced that losing striker Jamie Walker to injury was crucial as they suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Rangers on Saturday afternoon.

The 24-year-old suffered a hamstring injury early in the second half when the scoreline was 1-1 and Rangers took advantage of his absence.

The Ibrox club travelled to the BT Murrayfield Stadium in their first match since Pedro Caixinha was sacked on Thursday and they came away with all three points thanks to double from Kenny Miller and Josh Windass.

Although Hearts opened the scoring through former Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty, the visitors responded well and picked up their first victory in three matches in all competitions.

Rangers currently find themselves six points behind Old Firm rivals and current champions Celtic in the league table.

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Speaking on the official Hearts website after the match, manager Levein believes that the result could have been different if Walker remained on the pitch.

“Once Jamie Walker went off, the whole system just fell apart and I put it solely down to that,” he said.

“We need Jamie to make that particular system work, and as we were already short in midfield, it made it even more difficult for us.

“He’ll definitely be out for the next couple of weeks, at least. I haven’t considered looking at the free agent market, though.”

Walker has failed to deliver the goods at Heart during the early stages of the season with only one goal and one assist to his name in all competitions. 

Rangers will look to build on this result when they host Partick Thistle in the league next weekend.

In other Rangers news, Vladimir Weiss has delivered a surprise verdict on the sacking of Pedro Caixinha.

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