First Team

Bjorn delighted to get going

22nd August 2016

Bjorn Johnsen marked his Hearts debut with a superb assist against Inverness CT.

Bjorn Johnsen made his long-awaited Hearts debut on Saturday, and he couldn’t have picked a better game to make his bow in front of the Tynecastle crowd.

A second-half substitute after his clearance from FIFA finally came through, the American striker made his mark immediately with an ingenious bit of skill to set up a stunning Sam Nicholson goal.

“I’ve been waiting! Patiently waiting,” he said. “You always have to be positive that things will work out, so I was delighted when the gaffer called me to tell me it was all sorted out.”

Despite being thrust into a high-octane SPFL Premiership match, the former Valerenga hitman didn’t look out of place at all, revealing his time spent with the team in the weeks leading up to the match were highly beneficial, as well as getting to know his fellow players.

“The tempo is very high, which is new for me. The game is slow in Portugal and Spain, so I’m getting used to the tempo, and the supporters have been really welcoming.

“It was easier to walk into it knowing everybody as opposed to being pushed in at the deep end without having an idea of the expectations at the club.

“Obviously, I’ve been with the guys for a month now so I knew what I was getting into, which will definitely benefit me in the long run.

"I want to keep the game simple but sometimes you need to do something different," the 24-year-old said afterwards.

"The back-heel assist for Sam was the only way I could get the ball to him. I couldn’t turn and Sam was yelling at me to give it to him so I tried it and it worked. Maybe next time it won’t.”

With Robbie Neilson overhauling the striking department at the club over the summer, Johnsen revealed he was excited to see how productive a partnership he could form with his fellow strikers.

Insisting the team weren’t there to make up the numbers, he stated that there was quality at the club and things were now starting to gel.

"I’m not concerned about the competition," said Johnsen. "I’m just happy to be part of the team and we’re really going to push for the top and see how it goes.

"I think we’ll have good partnerships at the top no matter whether it’s me or Conor playing alongside Tony.

“It’s what a team needs, we need something different for a game and then we can have something different in the squad. I’m looking forward to it all.”