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.
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.”
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.”