John Robertson backing Liam Boyce to end 30-year wait for Hearts striker to hit landmark goals return

John Robertson has sent Liam Boyce a good luck message and is backing the Irishman to end the 30-year wait for a Hearts player to match his 20 goals in a season.

Robbo’s haul from season 1991/92 hasn’t been beaten since, but Boyce is now on 16 after his goal at Tannadice and has four league games plus the Scottish Cup final still to play. Robertson hopes Boyce can beat it.

Kyle Lafferty came closest to hitting the 20-goal mark in 2017/18, but there hasn’t been a striker as prolific as Robbo down Gorgie way in three decades.

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Boyce topped the top flight scoring charts with 24 goals at Ross County five years ago and Robertson, the club's all-time leading goalscorer with 271 over two spells, has revealed he is a big admirer.

Liam Boyce has 16 goals for Hearts this season, with five matches still to play

The Hearts legend said: “Good luck to Liam Boyce this weekend and for the remaining five games of the season. He notched goal number 16 for the season v Dundee United and has the opportunity to become the first Hearts player since myself to score 20 goals in a season.

“I’ve said before I don’t mind all my records being broken as it will mean Hearts would be very successful indeed and this is one record I want to let go of as soon as possible.”

Robbo added on Instargam: “I am a huge admirer of Liam. I think he is a very clever player – the way he links up play and creates so much space for his fellow forwards and has linked up very well with the impressive Ellis Sims. He drags defenders all over the pitch and can still finish when given the opportunity.“He is unselfish and a real team player and I will be delighted to shake his hand and congratulate him personally when he has number 20 this season, especially if it’s at Hampden on May 21 and is the winner in the cup final. Good luck Liam and once this one achieved I have one or two more goal challenges for you to beat.”

Boyce admitted to the Belfast telegraph last week: “I should probably have done it already because I have missed some chances and a penalty. For me though, it is about the team winning rather than me scoring goals.”

Hearts striker John Robertson shows off his golden boot trophy for season 1989/1990 with 22 goals

Asked about Robertson last month, the striker told the Edinburgh Evening News: “The amount of goals he scored is insane. To be mentioned in the same breath as him is a good thing. Hopefully I can do it.”

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He added: “It’s a bit rare nowadays but I think it’s always in the back of any striker’s head that 20 goals is a brilliant season. Everyone wants a 20-goals-a-season striker.

“It hasn’t been done in a long while at Hearts. You want to be the first person to do it, however many years it’s been.”

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