First Team

Keatsy keen on striker challenge

23rd January 2015

James Keatings welcomes competition for first-team places at Tynecastle.

James Keatings insists he relishes the competition for a starting berth at Tynecastle, and thinks he’s improving every single day.

The striker, joint top scorer with eight goals, has welcomed the arrival of fellow front man Genero Zeefuik and with a plethora of attacking options now at Robbie Neilson’s disposal, he’s focusing on impressing on the training ground.

Speaking to the media, James said: “The way I look at it is that’s its more competition for me. It keeps me on my toes and makes me work harder to try and get myself back into the team if I’m out of it.

“That’s all it is, another challenge. Football’s full of challenges and that’s the way I take it.

“I totally think I’ve become a better player since joining Hearts. I’ve been working with Stevie Crawford and he’s added a lot of things to my game, round about the box and inside the box.

“I’m obviously learning off big Osman Sow, the way he plays and stuff. I’m learning every single day.”

Keatsy admits he’s been pleasantly surprised at how the season has panned out so far for the Jambos, who host Falkirk at a sold out Tynecastle on Saturday.

“When I joined in July, I didn’t think we’d be as far ahead as we are by this point,” he revealed. “I thought it was going to be a very tight race but obviously, with the way it’s went, we’ve been brilliant since the start of the season.

“The boys in the team have been magnificent, individually as well. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

James’ press conference is available to watch in full on HeartsTV.