Hearts striker Ellis Simms believes he is going into the Scottish Cup final in the perfect frame of mind after enjoying a strong finish to the season.
The 21-year-old has gone from strength to strength since moving to the Jambos on loan from Everton in January.
Three impressive strikes in his last six appearances – including the stunning semi-final goal against Hibernian – have helped ensure his belief levels are sky high ahead of Saturday’s Hampden showdown with Rangers.
“When I first came here, there was a spell where I was finding my feet, getting a feel for the league, settling in,” said Simms, who has netted seven in total for Hearts.
“But the staff and my team-mates have helped me settle quickly and the team is playing to my strengths.
“My confidence is high because I’ve scored a few goals now. It’s all about confidence but the last few months I feel like I’ve kicked on a level to show my true ability.
“The goal against Hibs was massive for me and it meant even more having my family and friends in the crowd. It was a great goal and it was a great experience.”
Simms would love to net another special Hampden goal this weekend.
“It would be a great feeling if I was to do it in the final, or even if someone else was to do it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it massively.
“When I came here I couldn’t have imagined I’d have this big ending to the season to look forward to. I came here to play as many games as possible and help the team score goals.
“Obviously we’ve done well in the cup but I never thought we would reach the final. We want to go all the way and win it.
“The Hearts fans are great so it will be great for them if we can win. It would be great for us as well because we’ve worked hard all season. We need to get the job done.”
Hearts had little to play for in their closing cinch Premiership fixtures and ended up losing their last three matches but Simms is confident they can bounce back to form when it matters at the weekend.
“We didn’t want to get complacent,” he said.
“In the last few league games we had cemented ourselves in third but we still wanted to be hungry and perform well to keep the momentum going towards the final.
“But I feel as though everyone is hungry and ready for this game. You’ve got to be ready, you’ve got to be on your A game.”
With his loan deal at Everton due to expire, Simms knows Saturday could be his last game in a Hearts shirt.
“I’m just focused on the final,” he said.
“After that I’ll have a few weeks break and then we’ll reassess the situation to see what’s best for my future. At the end of the day, it will be up to my parent club.”