Jamie Walker reveals why he is back in scoring form for Hearts
Two goals in the last two games indicate Hearts forward Jamie Walker is already finding form and fitness.
Returning from Wigan Athletic has brought the Riccarton academy graduate back into his old domain and he has settled seamlessly back into the role of Tynecastle Park talisman.
If Walker is in a comfort zone at Hearts, neither he nor supporters could care less. A goal at East Fife in the final Betfred Cup group tie preceded a cheeky finish in Sunday’s opening Premiership match at Aberdeen. It’s like he’s never been away.
“As long as I’m getting goals, I’m happy,” he says. He was less than jovial after Hearts’ 3-2 defeat at Pittodrie but, on a personal level, signs are that Walker is quickly getting up to full speed following an injury in England.
“I’m delighted at scoring again,” he continues. “First and foremost, it’s all about the team. At 2-1 up, we didn’t look like drawing the game never mind losing it. That was disappointing but I was pleased to get another goal and hopefully I can continue that throughout the season.”
Seeing the 26-year-old’s name on scoresheets again is no shock. The slight surprise on Sunday was perhaps that striker Uche Ikpeazu provided the assist with a delicate through ball.
“I wasn’t really surprised,” says Walker. “It was a good pass and a good finish. I just wanted to put it in the back of the net. I’ve said before that I can score goals here. I like to get into the box and score and I also like to score from outside. As long as I’m scoring then I’m happy.”
As for being back in familiar surroundings in Edinburgh, there is no price one can place on the support of family and friends.
“It’s definitely different being back home. I’m with my family and you don’t really need time to settle in. I’ve just had to get to know some of the boys but if you’re scoring goals then it always helps,” says Walker, who acknowledged the impact made by Hearts substitutes Steven Naismith and Conor Washington on Sunday.
“The experience Naisy and Wash have is massive and you could all see that they gave us a massive lift. Naisy got the equaliser straight away and from then on I thought we were the better team.
“If they hadn’t both been injured, they would probably have started the match on any other day. They have experience and quality and it’s good to have that. Hopefully we can see more of it throughout the season.
“We were disappointed leaving Aberdeen but we have Ross County at home on Saturday. We need to prepare for that because it’s a tough game. They had a good result at the weekend.”
Walker is confident Hearts will continue to create scoring opportunities and he plans to take them when they arise.
“Over the four Betfed games we created a lot of chances. On Sunday, we had two instinctive finishes from Naismith and myself. It’s not something we really work on. It just comes naturally.”