Christian Nade is confident he has nothing to prove against Hearts this season after scoring in Raith Rovers’ opening win against Dumbarton.
The Frenchman was named man of the match after the 3-1 victory and faces former club Hearts at Stark’s Park in two weeks’ time.
Although he struggled to make an impact during three years at Tynecastle between 2007 and 2010, Nade insists there are mitigating circumstances. He blamed different managers for a disappointing return of eight goals in 83 league games and claimed he was not played in his best position.
The 29-year-old has lost weight and improved his physical condition and is now eager to make an impact on this season’s Championship. “At Hearts, they played me in positions I didn’t like and had never played in. I also played three years with a hernia injury so I couldn’t show what I could do,” said Nade.
“When I played for Hearts, Csaba Laszlo, Stevie Frail and Angel Chervenkov were in charge. We played 4-5-1 a lot and I was the only striker, but what a lot of people didn’t know is that I finished one season with something like 17 assists. I played with Andrius Velicka. Maybe I wasn’t a goalscorer but I contributed in other ways.
“This year is completely different. I played six months with Dundee and did well. I’m still working hard.”
Nade believes Raith’s most crucial games this season will not be against the so-called big three of Hearts, Hibs and Rangers. Other fixtures on the calendar will be potentially more pivotal, according to the former Sheffield United striker.
“The most important teams this season will not be Hearts, Hibs or Rangers. It will be teams like Queen of the South, Dumbarton and Falkirk. These games are more important than against Rangers. We will let them fight against each other and we need to win games that we’re meant to win.”