Armand Gnanduillet receives applause from Hearts as the Frenchman prepares to lead the line to Aberdeen
But he knows it’s hard for some of them to shine if they’ve gathered dust behind the scenes.
This is why he was satisfied with Armand Gnanduillet’s performance at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday, even if the lanky Frenchman made a few lines.
A player who believes in his own abilities, he had to wait, not so patiently according to those who are close enough to him to feel the warmth of his urge to enter the field and lead the hunt for goals, for his turn to lead the line. .
With Liam Boyce in such good form this season and leading the Premiership rankings, opportunities for the 29-year-old, who joined Hearts in January, have been limited and will need to review his contract at the end of the current campaign. .
He has made eight of the Capital’s 11 Premiership appearances this season, but has only been included in the starting lineup twice. The first was in the 2-2 draw with Ross County in September, the second was on Wednesday, when a 1-1 stalemate in Perth saw Celtic overtake Georgie’s outfit but maintained the unbeaten streak and the club in the hunt.
This afternoon they are in Aberdeen and, with Boyce still out with a tight calf, Gnanduillet will again be the spearhead of the attack.
“Boycey won’t make it but Armand did really well at St Johnstone, I was really happy with him,” said Neilson. “He led the line well, and other than scoring a goal he did everything for us, so I was happy with him.”
While the positive start to the season is worth celebrating, the Hearts boss acknowledges that the former Blackpool forward, like several others, has struggled to get playing time as a result.
“He had to be patient, but Boycey scored goals so he had to bide his time. There are a few boys like that, you know? It’s part of football. But now he has to try his luck.
“We’ve been pretty tough on him in that he hasn’t played a lot of games and we throw him and we expect him to be strong, but he played 30 minutes then 90, and we hope that he will get more playing time now.
“Some players need two games to start, others need five. When I was a player, I needed six or seven. Armand has this opportunity now, he has to go and grab it.
But, the Tynecastle boss has warned that no one should be too comfortable, especially in the advanced areas, as he looks to further improve his options in the January transfer window.
“We would always like to have another striker, whether it’s a wide player or a striker. You still need it in January to give the team a boost.
“It is important that everyone shows what they are capable of doing. Every game is an audition, every window is under pressure because we might bring in other players.
“So for me it doesn’t matter if you are three years old or six months old [on their contract], you have to be there every game.