| 6.9°C Belfast

Liam Boyce is the man to fire Hearts to Premiership survival, says boss

Close

Liam Boyce

Liam Boyce

William Cherry/Presseye

Liam Boyce

Northern Ireland striker Liam Boyce is the man to fire Hearts to Scottish Premiership survival, according to his new boss.

The Burton Albion forward has agreed terms on what is understood to be a £6k-per-week deal at Tynecastle after a fee in the region of £150,000 was agreed with his old club.

The race is on for Boyce's move to be finalised in time for the former Cliftonville man to make his debut in the home game against Steven Gerrard's Rangers on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel is delighted to finally get his man and, with the side currently four points adrift at the foot of the table, reckons Boyce's arrival could be the turning point in the season.

“Our top scorer has three goals," he explained. "That’s not enough for any team in the league.

“But I’m wary of saying it solves all the problems by signing one player.

“We need help from other players on the pitch, but it helps to know we have a player who has scored goals in the past, someone you believe can score again.

“Boyce can create chances alone and can be ruthless in the box.

“He can score easy goals as well as difficult ones. In some situations you need someone who can decide a game.

“At the moment we work so hard in every game but we’ve not had much luck scoring a goal. I hope we can change it with one or two new players.”

Boyce has netted 14 goals in 33 games for Burton this season and has a track record of netting in Scotland too, having won the Premiership's golden boot with 23 goals before leaving Ross County at the end of the 16/17 season.

Hearts defender John Souttar, who played against Boyce during his first stint north of the border, is as pleased as his manager with the new recruit.

“He is a very clever footballer," said the Scotland international. "I think everyone in the league knows he scores goals. That’s the type of player everyone wants to see come here.

“He scored a lot of goals at County when they weren’t doing too well. That shows how good a player he is.”

Belfast Telegraph