Neil Alexander tips Abiola Dauda to impress in derby replay

Hearts goalkeeper Neil Alexander reckons Abiola Dauda is ready to make his presence felt against Hibernian at the second time of asking after bagging a brace against Ross County.

Hearts' Abiola Dauda (right) in action against Hibs' Marvin Bartley in the Scottish Cup 5th Round tie at Tynecastle. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Nigerian marksman, a deadline-day signing, was handed a baptism of fire last Sunday when pitched straight into the starting XI for the Edinburgh derby and struggled to make an impact during a breathless, frantic 2-2 draw in the Scottish Cup fifth round.

However, Dauda illustrated his potential three days later, scoring a double in Dingwall to secure a 3-0 win for Hearts after coming on as a second-half substitute.

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Alexander said: “The midweek goals will do Abiola’s confidence the world of good – and he is looking very good in training so I think he can help kick us on for the rest of the season.”

Hearts have also been buoyed by the return of Jamie Walker, and Alexander added: “He is getting a few more games and getting back to full fitness and is looking good, so he is like a new signing for us.”

Hearts are sweating over the fitness of Prince Buaben ahead of the derby clash, but Igor Rossi and Blazej Augustyn will return.