Uche Ikpeazu has certainly entered cult hero territory.
The big striker netted a dramatic late equaliser to salvage a point for Hearts in Sunday’s Edinburgh derby at bitter rivals Hibernian.
The finish was impressive, slotted calmly into the bottom corner with just a few minutes remaining, but the fact he was the hero at Easter Road while suffering with a knee injury and a sore throat only enhances his reputation.
“Uche was struggling with his knee, that would have been the reason for taking him off,” manager Craig Levein told Deadline News after the game. “He was flagging.
“Some people don’t rate him but he does a good job. He didn’t have his best day today but he kept plugging away, working hard and got his reward.”
The cynics have queued up to question Ikpeazu’s ability, particularly with the Scottish Sun linking him with a £1 million move to Old Firm giants Celtic and Rangers in recent weeks.
The former Cambridge targetman has netted just three times in the Scottish Premiership this season but no one can possibly doubt his commitment to the cause and willingness to put himself through the pain barrier.
He may not have the prolific goalscoring rate to star at Celtic or Rangers but he certainly has the attitude to be a fans’ favourite wherever he goes next.
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