Hearts’ Everton loanee Ellis Simms speaks on biggest defeat of career and using Duncan Ferguson advice to bounce back


Hearts striker Ellis Simms may return to the starting line-up.

“It’s disappointing to lose any match and the way we lost, it was a big margin. But, in football, things move on quite quickly,” said Simms.

“There are games thick and fast in this league so we can move on from it. We have the next focus and hopefully we can get the win.”

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Still a relative newcomer, Simms, who has already opened his Gorgie goal account, has quickly sussed out that at a club like Hearts, where securing a third spot is just one of the season’s ambitions, there is little patience for defeat.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson.

But, he will have learned that working with former Dundee United and Rangers striker Ferguson. An influential long-time member of the Goodison Park coaching team, the Scot is a strong character and fierce competitor and despite having a softer side, according to Simms, he is never likely to be mistaken for someone who would accept defeat lightly.

“A loss is a loss, really. So, we are all disappointed. Rangers are a good side, but we didn’t perform to our best and we know that,” explained Simms, who is on loan from Everton until the end of the current campaign.“On our day, we will do well and we have to move on now.

“In training with Duncan, he gives me tips. So it’s great to learn and ask questions on how I can improve, that’s definitely helped me a lot.

“When you get to know him, he’s a nice guy, I got on well with him and like I said, he’s a great guy, who’s helped me a lot.” But the 21 year-old, who describes himself as a player who likes to run in behind, stretch the backline, score goals, hold the ball up and link with other attackers, admits that despite having someone like Ferguson to turn to for insight and listening to former Everton graduate Beni Baningime bigging up life at Hearts, the standard of football north of the border has exceeded expectations.

“It was definitely a bit of a surprise. I had heard a little bit about Scottish football, but now I’m here, my expectations are even better. I thought with it being Scotland, maybe the football might not be as good.

“But the opponents are good and it’s a competitive league and I’m really enjoying it up to now.

“I’m trying to learn as much as I can and embrace it all. We have had a few good results so hopefully we can carry on.”

And, while they will swap one of the title challengers for a midweek tussle with one of the relegation battlers, he knows that Hearts could face another tough night.

“In this league, you play opponents with different styles. Some teams are better than the others and there are different gameplans. I’m just learning and enjoying it. Hopefully it will be a great experience for me.

“We had a difficult defeat on Sunday but I know we will kick on now. The next couple of weeks will be big for us.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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