Hearts midfielder Arnaud Djoum feels like he’s back in business after a slow start to the campaign by his own high standards.
The 27-year-old established himself as the heartbeat of Robbie Neilson’s side last term with a string of dominant performances after arriving at Tynecastle 13 months ago following a disappointing spell with Polish side Lech Poznan.
Despite earning a maiden call-up to the Cameroon squad last month, the former Roda JC player freely admits that his displays in the opening games of the current season weren’t as strong as those which had helped earn him the 2015/16 Hearts supporters’ player of the year award as well as a contract until 2019.
However, after impressive back-to-back domestic displays in victories over Motherwell and Dundee, either side of a morale-boosting appearance for Cameroon against Algeria, Djoum believes he has now rediscovered his mojo.
“It wasn’t easy for me against Dundee because I’d done a lot of travelling with Cameroon but I thought I had a good game and continued on from Motherwell,” he told the Evening News. “I’m happy with the way I played and I will try to keep this form. I think my form has definitely improved in the last few games because I found the start of the season a bit hard.”
Djoum was unfazed by his form dip as he is philosophical enough to understand that most footballers find it impossible to hit the heights in every match they play.
“Last year, I played a lot of games but before that I had gone for a long time without playing so much,” he said. “Sometimes when you play a lot of games, you have some moments when you dip a little. In football, even big players have moments where their form goes down a little bit. You just have to continue working hard and try to play better. That’s what I did. Even when my game was not so good in the first part of the season, I kept working hard and now I feel good. I’m happy and enjoying myself.”
Meanwhile, Hearts Under-20s face Partick Thistle in an SPFL Development League match at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie at 6.00pm tonight.
It has been confirmed that Hearts’ Scottish Youth Cup third-round tie against Annan Athletic will take place at Tynecastle this Sunday, with a 1.00pm kick-off.