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I did go back on my word to Neil Lennon and Hibernian, admits Kyle Lafferty

Northern Ireland striker discusses his Hearts transfer and his Uno bonding with new team-mates

Northern Ireland forward Kyle Lafferty has admitted that he didn't live up to his word to have talks with Neil Lennon regarding a move to Hibernian.

He instead signed for Hibs' Edinburgh rivals Hearts, with Lennon claiming the 29-year-old Fermanagh man had gone back on his word about speaking to the Easter Road outfit.

Lafferty said: “I came back from my holidays on the Thursday and Hearts wanted to meet me on the Friday. They moved things around to get me in the door early to speak to them and I had to show respect and listen to them.

“I read what Neil Lennon said. I did say that I would speak to him. Did I go back on my word? Then obviously I did. This was on the Thursday night I spoke to him but when you sit down with Hearts for four days from 10am to 6pm trying to sort out a contract it is difficult to go elsewhere because the club has done a lot to get me here and I wanted to come to Hearts.

“It is just one of those things – it’s football. I am a Hearts player and I am glad I came here.

“I just want to play football again and Hearts matched my ambitions. I don’t think I have anything to prove to myself as I know I will score goals. I think I will play the majority of games if I turn up and work hard.”

Smiling he added: “On my second day with the lads I was invited to play a game of Uno rather than poker. I don’t know what kind of club I have joined playing Uno instead of poker.

“We have got an Uno school going on here and I feel like I am 12 years old talking about it! We have our things that we do off the park. It’s a close-knit group and there are exciting times ahead of us and I’m sure I can score the goals that put Hearts in a comfortable position.”

Lafferty would love to hit his first for the club in their opening league game against champions Celtic next month.

“I am going to thrive on that kind of game. Playing against the champions on the flag day you don’t get much bigger games than that. Celtic will be up for it but we want to be the first team to hopefully beat them,” he said.

“Can we? I think we can. We are still trying to get to know each other but come August 5 we will be bang at it.”

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