BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
RORY CURRIE insists he never lost faith in his own ability after bouncing back from his Rangers axe by emerging as one of Hearts’ brightest talents.
The 19-year-old, who was also on the books of Celtic as a schoolboy, admits he was “shocked” to be released by the Ibrox outfit last summer.
However, there was no time to dwell on that disappointment, with former Jambos head coach Robbie Neilson immediately snapping up the promising striker.
Ian Cathro took an immediate shine to the player after taking the helm at Tynecastle in December, integrating Currie into the first-team squad and subsequently handing him six appearances.
And he was yesterday rewarded for his form – which included bagging his first goal for the club against Raith Rovers in January – by joining Jack Hamilton and John Souttar in signing new contracts until 2020.
Currie said: “It was quite a shock [to leave Rangers] but as soon as Hearts said they wanted me I came here, and I couldn’t have been happier. My confidence didn’t go at all. I know my own ability and I kept my head up.
“I never had any doubt I could get to this level and thankfully I’ve pushed on here. Hearts have given me a great opportunity and they believed in me – that’s been the turning point in my career.
“The manager [Cathro] puts me on the pitch and he believes in me. He expects me to go on and change the game. I’d say I feel sharper now since I stepped up to the first team. That’s the main thing in my performance.
“I’ve learned quite a lot coming up from the under-20s. It’s a lot more sharp and you need to be switched on and focused at all times. Physicality is one big difference, too. When you’re coming off the bench you’re hoping to make an impact. I just go on and try my hardest for the team.”