Hearts V Partick at Tynecastle Stadium : Match Preview

16 December 2016 08:34
Hearts V Partick - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Conor Sammon hoping to make his Hearts mark under Ian Cathro

Conor Sammon is determined to make more of a contribution to the Hearts cause under new boss Ian Cathro.

The 30-year-old Republic of Ireland international was signed by Robbie Neilson in the summer after leaving Derby County but has had to settle latterly for appearances off the bench, his last start coming against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on October 26.

Former Newcastle United assistant Cathro took over as Gorgie head coach before last week's 2-0 Ladbrokes Premiership defeat against Rangers after Neilson and assistant Stevie Crawford departed for MK Dons.

Sammon came off the bench again at Ibrox and admits his frustration, albeit understanding that fellow striker Bjorn Johnsen's performances saw him awarded the Ladbrokes Premiership player of the month award for November.

He told Press Association Sport: "One day it was Robbie Neilson and the next day obviously everything has changed and you are back to square one again where everyone is trying to prove a point and that is where I am at, really.

"I am keen to impress the new manager and assistant and look to improve and grow and to enhance my Hearts career.

"It is very frustrating. But I have been playing football long enough to know how quickly these things can change and that is the attitude I always try to adopt when I am in this situation.

"It is frustrating when the team is announced and you are not going out there in the starting eleven.

"You want to play as much as you possibly can and it is just channelling that frustration in the right way, working hard in training so that when you get that opportunity you take it, that's the scenario me and a lot of other lads are in."

While there was no real surprise that the Jambos lost to second-placed Rangers at Ibrox, Sammon accepts and welcomes the different expectations that will be on Hearts to beat bottom side Partick Thistle in Cathro's first home game in charge.

He said: "The fans expect us to win every game at home and that is good expectation for us as players, you want to be playing for a club that demands a lot.

"It is a great test for us tomorrow, after a defeat to Rangers, to bounce back and to start another run where we can play some good football and get some good points on the board as well.

"The manager has his own ideas, his own way of preparing so it has been quite nice to have the full week training this week going into tomorrow's game."

Partick's Liam Lindsay is targeting a double-figure goal tally this season, but a clean sheet is his immediate aim.

The centre-back netted his fifth goal of the season against Celtic last Friday night, but was still on the end of a 4-1 defeat.

Thistle have kept just two clean sheets in the Ladbrokes Premiership this season and Lindsay wants to improve that record when they face Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday.

The 21-year-old told his club's official website: "I'm delighted with my goalscoring this season, I've no idea how I've scored that many, but I have and suddenly I'm looking at trying to get double figures.

"First and foremost, however, I would prefer to be keeping clean sheets at the other end of the pitch, that's my main job and what is most important.

"We know we have to keep it tight at the back. We have been struggling to keep a clean sheet so the whole defence is choking for one.

"We know we have to make sure we perform well and if we can stop them scoring then it makes things much easier up the other end for the attackers to try and win us the game."

He added: "Hearts are obviously under new management so we need to try take advantage of that. Maybe they will be trying to play slightly different, but we have to play our game and hopefully give him a poor home debut."

Source: PAR