Hearts striker Liam Boyce admits he is hoping he can form a formidable attacking partnership with Lawrence Shankland.

The pair were a handful for the Rosenborg defence in Thursday’s memorable 3-1 Europa Conference League win as Boyce made his first in nearly a year.

Boyce only had seven games alongside the Hearts captain at the start of last season before he was struck down with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.

And the Northern Irishman believes he and the free-scoring forward can link well in the final third.

Boyce, who was replaced after 66 minutes against the Norwegians as Hearts set-up a play-off tie with PAOK following a 4-3 aggregate win, said: “We only got to play a handful of games last season and I know how good a player he is. 

“Having played together I know what he likes and hopefully I can keep getting more game time and keep that partnership going and score more goals.

“I was told a couple of days ago I would be playing, I was a bit impatient last week as I was only getting on for five minutes and stuff but I realised on Thursday after 50 minutes why I knew I wasn't getting longer. 

“When it got to that point my lungs were okay but my legs felt like cement a wee bit. I’ll do whatever I can for the team.

“I came on last weekend too against Kilmarnock and it’s getting more minutes and building, trying to get that sharpness. 

“There were a few times the ball came to me and I felt like my feet weren’t connected to my body but that will come with time and hopefully I can keep niggling injuries away.”