Hearts: Christophe Berra will not let John Souttar 'get carried away' after Scots call

John Souttar, Craig Levein and Christophe Berra
John Souttar and Christophe Berra with Hearts manager Craig Levein (centre)

Hearts captain Christophe Berra has praised club-mate John Souttar's improvement and insists he will not let the defender "get carried away".

Uncapped Souttar, 21, has been called up to the Scotland squad for this month's matches against Belgium and Albania.

Berra, 33, has won 41 Scotland caps and is currently recovering from a hamstring injury.

"His concentration levels have got a lot better," Berra said.

"Especially, as a defender. When at home, a lot of the time you're dominating the game, you've got to be switched on.

"His time will come to move on from Hearts. He's served his club well but there's a lot of hard work to get done first and foremost. I know he won't get carried away and I won't let him get carried away."

Scotland Under-21 cap Souttar joined Hearts from Tynecastle manager Craig Levein's former club Dundee United in 2016 and Berra returned to Edinburgh last year from Ipswich Town.

"He's come on leaps and bounds," said Berra of his team-mate. "He's got a good right foot, he's good with the ball at his feet but he's worked hard on his defending. He's got really good at just doing the basics right. Great attitude - he wants to learn wants to get better and the only way is up for him."

Speaking about Souttar's chances of finally getting a Scotland cap, Berra added: "There will be tougher times ahead but going away with the squad, he might get a game. It's only going to be of benefit.

"I'll be watching out for John. Hopefully he gets on the pitch. Tough games. Albania, I think they've done well in the qualifiers in recent years. People might not think a lot of them but they've got a lot of good players. You don't need to speak about Belgium, they're world class, a top, top team."

Berra had been ruled for six months after going off injured in last month's win over Celtic.

And he said of a possible earlier return: "You never know, I'm a quick healer. I'm not going to put a timescale on it."

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