Hearts coach Jon Daly backs Conor Sammon to hit heights
HEARTS coach Jon Daly believes Conor Sammon will be a huge success at Tynecastle if he can reproduce the form he showed at Kilmarnock.
The Irishman is on the verge of completing a deal to lead the Edinburgh club’s forward line next season.
Daly, who coaches the Hearts Under-20 squad, is confident Sammon will fit into Robbie Neilson’s team. His physical presence would fill the void left by Osman Sow’s exit in February, and Daly said his countryman’s work ethic is a big attraction for Neilson.
“I think he’ll fit in, I don’t see why he couldn’t. He seems like a good sort and a good type of player regarding work rate,” said Daly. “That’s the type Robbie likes. He likes his players to work hard, first and foremost, and obviously have that ability as well. Conor looks like he has that.
“I can’t really comment on his last couple of years because I haven’t seen him play much. He was definitely a handful when he was at Kilmarnock. If you can get him the supply and the service that every striker needs, he’ll get you goals.”
Sammon is available for free after being released by Derby County. Aberdeen want to lure him to Pittodrie and he also has suitors in England. At the moment, Hearts are favourites for his signature.
The 29-year-old endured a difficult time at Derby and was sent on loan to Ipswich Town, Rotherham United and Sheffield United. However, Daly recalled the prolific period at Kilmarnock late in 2011 when he scored 18 times in 27 games as an indication of what Sammon is capable of.
“I haven’t seen an awful lot of Conor recently but, at Kilmarnock, I thought he was excellent,” continued Daly. “He really kicked on under Mixu Paatelainen, with the likes of Alexei Eremenko supplying him with chances.
“He looked like the type of player who works really hard for the team. When he got his chances, he stuck them away. He left in the January after scoring quite a lot of goals up until then. If he does come in, hopefully he can have the same impact he had at Kilmarnock.”
Daly, Neilson and the rest of the Hearts coaching staff will welcome players back for pre-season training a week on Wednesday. The club’s first Europa League qualifier takes place just two weeks later on June 30.
“We’re back in on the 15th. You don’t get much of a rest these days,” said Daly. “The break seems to get shorter and shorter. The boys have gone away with programmes to follow and I’m sure they’ll come back in good nick, ready to go.”