Craig Levein tips Uche Ikpeazu to hit goal trail again for Hearts

Hearts boss Craig Levein believes that Uche Ikpeazu can now relax and concentrate on getting back on the scoresheet after the striker signed a contract extension, committing himself to the club until 2022.

Hearts manager Craig Levein believes Uche Ikpeazu only needs a goal to set him going again. Picture: SNS.

The former Cambridge United forward started the season in sparkling form, scoring four times in his first ten games before a foot injury sidelined him for four months and since his return early last month he has made six appearances without finding the back of the net and the lack of goals is beginning to play on his mind.

But the Tynecastle boss has seen enough to convince him that the 24-year-old can prove a key player throughout the remainder of this season and over the coming years and is delighted to have tied him up on a long-term deal.

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“He’s been very unlucky recently and he’s maybe a bit anxious about that but it 
happens to all strikers,” said Levein. “He does worry about stuff and he’s desperate to get another goal to get him off and running again. He will, it’s just a matter of time. I think this will calm him down a little bit.

“He’s a hard-working boy and he’s appreciated by everybody at the club. The supporters love him because, basically, he tries his hardest in every game. Sometimes that’s all you need to do.

“The most important thing is I really like him. I think he helps the team and I wanted him to stay. He acknowledges
that I really like him and he gets game time when he’s fit and he wanted to stay so that works out well.”

Having secured his future, the Englishman has promised his manager and the fans that the best is yet to come. A player
who is hungry to learn from the experienced men around about him, Ikpeazu said the club had given him a great platform to improve since his arrival in the summer.

“I genuinely think I’m improving and getting back to my best,” he said. “I feel I’m back playing really good now. I feel confident and it’s just the goals to come, really. Now is the right time to extend my contract here because I feel the love from the management, the staff and the fans. I love the club, the fans, the city and my team-mates as well.”