Daniel Stendel reveals why 'expensive' Liam Boyce is value for Hearts

'I think we will have a lot of happiness with him'

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 6:10 am
Liam Boyce will give Hearts good value, according to manager Daniel Stendel

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel admits Liam Boyce is an expensive signing but one who is already justifying his lucrative wages.

The Northern Ireland striker scored the winning goal in Sunday's 2-1 victory against Rangers after becoming one of the highest earners at Tynecastle Park.

Hearts paid Burton Albion around £150,000 for Boyce last week and had to offer him a considerable salary to secure his signature.

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He is already beginning to repay their faith according to Stendel, who believes such signings are the way forward for the Edinburgh club alongside youth development.

Boyce's decisive strike against Rangers saw him make an immediate impact which even his manager did not expect.

"I did not imagine it like this. Not really. We hoped for this but we did not know this could happen," Stendel told the Evening News.

"You could see after five minutes that Liam is a really good player for us. He is comfortable in possession, he works hard and he is very clinical in front of goal. He showed this when he scored. I think we will have a lot of happiness with him.

"We talked about the way for the future and the only way can be to bring players like him in. Yeah, I know he is more expensive than some other players but we need players who like to play for Hearts. We need guys who like to play for us in the Scottish Premiership.

"With some young players on the pitch, like Andy Irving, Euan Henderson and Lewis Moore, we have a good mix of experienced players and young guys from our academy.

"This can help us bring a good team together. This is the idea and the way for Hearts for the future."

Another new recruit, Toby Sibbick, also impressed against Rangers after arriving on a six-month loan from Barnsley. "I think it was a good start for him after not playing for a long time at Barnsley," said Stendel.

"I know he can show so much more than he did on Sunday. He trained for the first time with the team on Saturday then he played against Rangers in a big game.

"He was in a position that he has not played so much, centre midfield, but I know he can play there. He showed he is the right signing for us and he can help us. We will look at what happens in the next few games but I think he is a good option."

Confidence within the Hearts camp has risen significantly after beating the team second-top of the Premiership. Hearts drew 0-0 at Ross County last week and remain bottom of the table, however Stendel was confident of an upset at the weekend.

"On one side, you think: 'We did not win last Wednesday against Ross County. What can we do against Rangers?' But you can see that we can win against Rangers," he said.

"It doesn't matter what happened last Wednesday. What is important is that we believe in our way, that we play exactly the same against every team.

"We play with that high intensity and I think this is the key for the next games and for climbing up the table. Sunday was a very important three points for us.

"The gap is now smaller and I hope that, in the next few games, we can climb higher."