Hearts' Kyle Lafferty: I've joined Edinburgh's biggest team

New Hearts signing Kyle Lafferty says he's joined Scotland's third biggest club and can't wait to take on Hibs in Edinburgh derbies.

Hearts owner Ann Budge with new signing Kyle Lafferty. Picture: SNS
Hearts owner Ann Budge with new signing Kyle Lafferty. Picture: SNS

The Northern Irish international said there was little chance of him opting out of the chance to join the Tynecastle club and sign for their crosstown rivals instead.

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It was reported the 29-year-old had decided to skip a meeting with Hibs boss Neil Lennon in order to complete his two-year deal at Hearts.

This prompted advisor and fellow countryman Keith Gillespie to accuse him of treating Hibs with disrespect on social media, a charge Lafferty denies.

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The striker was no stranger to controversy during his days with Rangers and the row will likely see him cop more stick when he runs out for his first Edinburgh derby.

And he will have done his popularity levels across the capital no favours by claiming Hibs sit in the shadows of his new side.

“I’ve joined the biggest team in Edinburgh and the third biggest in Scotland,” he said.

“So it was an easy decision for me to come after hearing what the manager had to say, what he wants me to do and where he wants to take the team.

“They have matched my expectations as well and I actually can’t wait to get started.”

But the former Sion, Palermo and Norwich striker is confident he can handle anything thrown his way.

“I think I’m hated in Scotland already to be honest,” he said. “It’s football and obviously you’re going to get teams after you. You have to make a decision.

“I made one early doors and I didn’t want this deal to end up dead and buried.

“Derbies are derbies. I’ve played in Old Firms. They get heated sometimes, so do Hearts-Hibs games. I just can’t wait for these big games.”