Hearts striker Conor Sammon admits he hasn’t scored enough goals since moving to Tynecastle and must improve under new coach Ian Cathro.
The Irishman has struck just twice in 22 appearances after signing a three-year contract in June. He fell out of the starting line-up in October but has since seen former head coach Robbie Neilson leave to be replaced by Cathro.
Ahead of today’s league match against Partick Thistle, Sammon stressed the onus is on him to start finding the net. He is eager to prove to the new manager that he can handle the pressure of playing for Hearts.
“It comes from myself, really. A new manager coming in, I’m keen to impress like all the players are. From my point of view, it’s about scoring goals,” said the 30-year-old.
“I’ve not been scoring enough from the opportunities I’ve had and that’s all on my shoulders. I’m hoping I can learn from the manager and he can give me pointers here and there that I can take on to help me get into positions and get more goals.
“I’m hoping I can improve and, if the manager, can help me then that’s fantastic.”
Sammon admitted his confidence has suffered because of the lack of goals this season. “I think it comes from going on a run. You miss a few chances and then all of a sudden it does subconsciously get on your mind. You think: ‘I’ve gone three, four, five, six games without scoring.’
“With every striker, it’s about confidence and getting into that routine of scoring. I just need one to go in for me then I think it will be a case of how many on top of that.
“Strikers are judged on goals but you can add other things into your game. You can be a threat, get assists and help your team-mates out, but ultimately it’s the goals that really make you smile about a game. It’s putting it together, getting goals and the work rate. It’s a work in progress.”
Some supporters have criticised the forward during games, which he accepts is part of football. He pledged to continue working until he starts scoring again. “I think you have to be quite thick-skinned. When I was younger it would affect me. You would come away from the game and think about these things an awful lot,” he explained.
“As you get older, you learn to deal with it better, how to channel that frustration. The fans are frustrated when you get a chance and the ball does not go in the back of the net. That’s natural. I’m the same, I’m angry at myself, it’s a double whammy. I just need to keep working hard, that’s my way to get through tough times. There’s no substitute for that determination.”