HEARTS manager Craig Levein has pledged that Kyle Lafferty will receive all the help he needs to overcome his gambling addiction.
The 30-year-old striker went public with his addiction this week and the club has publicly backed him.
Levein joined chairwoman Ann Budge in stating that the club didn’t regret their decision to sign Lafferty after the issue came to light.
“Would it have put us off signing him had we known beforehand? That’s a tough question, but I don’t think so.”
“We obviously did background checks. Yeah, maybe there were some things he liked a bet, but it wasn’t at the forefront of our thoughts when he joined.”
Levein described how the issue was brought to his attention when Lafferty came clean about his problem to the club assistant, Austin MacPhee.
“It was only four or five weeks ago that he approached Austin MacPhee and explained the situation he was in.
“Since then we’ve done everything we can to help him. He needs to help himself, but by going public he’s shown he’s serious about it.
The Irishman has scored 6 goals in 11 appearances since swapping East Anglia for Edinburgh and has been a revelation for the club.
“Looking at it purely from a football point of view, he has had these problems for ages and, credit to him, he even managed to play at the Euros while it was going on, which I just find remarkable.”
Levein’s Hearts side travel to Dens Park tomorrow for a clash with Dundee and the Jambos will be hoping to continue their unbeaten run under Levein.