Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson hails Callum Paterson for ‘phenomenal’ goals record

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HEARTS head coach Robbie Neilson has hailed Callum Paterson’s ‘phenomenal’ strike rate after the defender netted at the weekend for the fifth time this season.

The Scotland full-back helped the Jambos on their way to a 2-0 win over luckless Dundee with a thumping header in the 68th minute of the Tynecastle clash.

The 22-year-old is now the Gorgie side’s top scorer with five goals from just 14 appearances.

Callum Paterson

And Neilson insists the youngster poses a real danger for opposition defences every time he ventures forward from his right-back berth.

However, he insists the fledgling internationalist is not the only threat Hearts have when they take the aerial route to goal.

He said: “Callum’s goal-scoring record for a full-back is phenomenal, it is. He gives you that aerial athleticism and dominance.

“If you put a ball into the box him, Igor [Rossi], John Souttar or Conor Sammon are all fantastic in the air.

“And when you get a good delivery, like we did from Robbie [Muirhead], and you put it into a good area like that, then there’s a good chance they’re going to score.”

TALLY

Meanwhile, Paterson has set himself the target of a dozen goals for the season as he bids to beat his best-ever record.

The versatile right-back played as a striker in season 2013-14 but is aiming to surpass his total from that campaign

He said: “My best tally for a season is 11 goals when I was playing up front.

“I’m at five now and we’re not even half-way through the season yet, so that’s my target.

“I’m definitely planning on beating that.”

@IainCollin

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