As a result of this and coupled with the results of research I carried out for my thesis for my MSc a few years ago, I have initiated a semi-formal mentoring system.
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If Lafferty fails in the same way as the Tony Watt signing, a similarly talented striker with a bad-boy reputation, then it’ll surely be the end of the Hearts management duo.
They need the Northern Ireland international to be fully focused on the task at hand because even a respectable season - say fourth behind Celtic, Aberdeen and Rangers - might not be enough to redeem the pair in the eyes of the Hearts faithful, especially if derby results continue in the trend of the Ann Budge era. Lafferty’s club career may not have reached the heights it could have done, but his form for Northern Ireland over the past few years demonstrates the kind of quality he has.
Everyone wanted to do their best every day - except Kyle Lafferty.“Lovely, lovely bloke,” said the former team-mate of Hearts’ most recent signing, “but when it came to training - nah.” This is almost a compliment compared with the most famous quote regarding Lafferty, spat out by former Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini, who called him “an out of control womaniser, an Irishman without rules” following his exit from the Italian side.
Lafferty insists he’s a changed and more mature individual than the young man who fostered such a reputation.