Ellis Simms is determined to continue forging a strong bond with supporters after making a positive impact in his first two weeks as a Hearts player.
The 21-year-old Everton attacker moved to Tynecastle a fortnight ago on a loan deal until the end of the season and has already appeared in four matches, scoring once and generally looking a threat for the cinch Premiership side.
The Jambos faithful have warmed to the striker and the backing he has received has not gone unnoticed.
“It’s brilliant playing in front of the Hearts fans,” he said. “It gives me huge confidence when the fans are on my side and supporting me.
“When I step on the pitch it gives me that belief that they enjoy watching me play. That gives you motivation – you’re playing for them at the end of the day and you just want to make them proud.”
Simms is happy with the way things have gone in his early days at Hearts.
“Coming here for my personal development, I want to help the team, work hard and score goals,” he said. “I feel I’ve settled in quite well. I’ve only been here two weeks but in that short space of time I’ve played quite a bit. The lads are great and I’m enjoying my time so far.
“We’re playing Saturday-midweek at the moment so it’s mostly about recovery and tactical work in between. I haven’t had much time to get into the city yet but hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll get more of a chance to have a look around.”
Simms came off the bench in Sunday’s 5-0 defeat at Rangers and is in line to return to the starting line-up for Wednesday’s league match at home to bottom-of-the-table Dundee. He is hoping to continue developing a partnership with the club’s top scorer Liam Boyce.
“The gaffer sees me playing through the middle,” said Simms. “As you saw against Motherwell, Boycie kind of set me up so hopefully, as we play more games and train together, we can form a relationship where we can rotate and assist each other.”
Simms had three big chances to further endear himself to the Hearts support in last week’s goalless Edinburgh derby against Hibernian but he was denied by home goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski on each occasion.
“I had a few chances in the derby so I was disappointed I couldn’t put one away,” he said. “The keeper did well, but on another night one of them goes in.”
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