Jamie Walker admits his patchy Hearts form must improve and recalls 'ridiculous' Craig Gordon saves

Jamie Walker owns more match-winning brilliance than many players in Scotland, such as that which earned Hearts three points on Saturday.

Jamie Walker scored Hearts' winner against Dunfermline on Saturday.

An exquisite turn and finish on 81 minutes brought a 1-0 win against Dunfermline to propel the Edinburgh club 12 points clear atop the Championship table.

It was a trademark moment of magic from Walker, but those have too often been conspicuous by their absence this season. The player himself doesn’t shirk the issue.

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“By my own standards, I haven’t been at it every week. I’ve had a few bits of magic like that throughout the season so it’s up to me to try and find a bit of consistency most weeks,” he admitted.

He entered the fray as a substitute for the Hearts captain Steven Naismith on 74 minutes. Seven minutes later, a skillful turn and drag of the ball in one movement saw him evade marker Euan Murray before firing a right-footed shot beyond the visiting goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams.

He is now just one goal short of 50 for Hearts. “It has been quite a long time. It’s one more goal to go and it will be a proud moment for me and my family,” said Walker.

“It was a tense match. Craig [Gordon] made a few good saves and we had a bit of magic off the bench. I’m delighted to help the team to three points.

"Michael Smith just played it into me, it was a good turn and it was a kind of sclaffed finish into the corner. They all count.

“I always believe in my own ability. When I get those opportunities I’m always confident I’m going to hit the net. You need to analyse the game when you’re on the bench to see how you could come on and impact things.

“People are getting tired as the match goes on and I’m coming off the bench fresh. It’s just a bit of magic and I was pleased to see the ball hit the net.”

He wasn’t the only key contributor to a potentially-pivotal victory. Several of Gordon’s saves underpinned this success, one in particular standing out from Ryan Dow’s back-post header in the first half.

“I wouldn’t say I was surprised watching it because he does that to my shots every day in training,” laughed Walker. “He’s a top-class keeper. I’m surprised Celtic even let him go. I wasn’t surprised to see that on Saturday but it was a fantastic save.

“He’s a great keeper, he’s played for his country and we’re delighted to have him. He’s saved us points this season. It’s like he’s getting better with age.”

Having watched Gordon from the stand whilst supporting Hearts, Walker feels privileged calling the 38-year-old a team-mate.

“Some of the saves are ridiculous to be honest,” he said. “I remember watching him at Easter Road and at Tynecastle – that save from Rob Jones’ header – I’ve seen it many times in the stand. I’m just delighted we’ve got him on the pitch now.”

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