Hearts manager Craig Levein insists Steven Naismith and Kyle Lafferty will cope with any abuse aimed at them when they return to Ibrox on Saturday to face Rangers.
Both players left the Gers in 2012 when they refused to transfer their contract over to the new company set-up by Charles Green to operate the club, setting up a potential sideshow when the duo go back to Govan this weekend.
Lafferty has already been back to Ibrox once but it’s the return of Naismith which is likely to cause more of a reaction after the attacker held a press conference in the wake of leaving the Gers saying Rangers no longer “exists in its current form.”
Levein admits any abuse hadn’t even crossed his mind but believes the players can “handle everything” thrown at them,
“I haven’t even thought about that [abuse]. Part of the reason I am saying it’s good we can go to Ibrox with players like Naismith and Lafferty is they handle everything,” Levein said, as quoted by Capital City Press.
“They have played in bigger arenas than this, and Steven is an experienced player.
“I don’t even know what the whole thing is about, to be honest. I am not interested. My only interest is if Steven is going to be fit or not, whether his hamstring is at a point where it can get through the game without any further injury.”
Lafferty made 134 appearances for Rangers following his £3.75million move from Burnley in 2008 before leaving Ibrox in 2012 to join Swiss side FC Sion.
The 30-year-old won three Scottish titles, two Scottish League Cups and a Scottish Cup during his four years with the Gers.
Naismith spent five years at Ibrox and made 140 appearances for his boyhood heroes before signing for Everton after terminating his Gers deal.
The 31-year-old joined Hearts on loan in January from Norwich City.
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