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Boyce will not allow personal ambition to hinder Staggies displays

Liam Boyce
Liam Boyce

Ross County forward Liam Boyce will not allow ambition to hinder his performances.

Boyce was yesterday named Premiership player of the month for April, having scored six goals last month, including all four in his side’s thumping 4-0 Highland derby victory against Caley Thistle.

It is the second time Boyce has won the award this season, following on from August’s prize, with the Northern Ireland international up to 21 goals for the campaign.

The 26-year-old is under contract until 2018, but his form will spark interest from other clubs.

The Belfast-born attacker’s early form for hometown club Cliftonville meant he was in demand as a teenager and in 2010 he joined top Bundesliga side Werder Bremen in Germany. The move proved unsuccessful. Boyce is determined not to let any speculation unsettle him this time around.

He said: “I’ve been caught up in it before, when I was younger, when people were talking about me scoring goals over in Northern Ireland. I was only 19, everyone was talking and I started to think I was better than I actually was. If I thought people were watching, I could start to do stuff to impress those people but ended up taking my mind off the game.

“I have enough experience now to know my job is to play football and score goals. I just leave the rest to my agent and the club. It is the club’s decision. I’ll just concentrate in putting the ball in the net.

“If I pay too much attention to people saying this club wants me or that club wants me, the risk is thinking I am better than I am and trying to do things I can’t do.

“I just need to concentrate and keep doing what I’m doing, because there is a reason teams are watching when a player is doing well. Any footballer should be ambitious. We all want to see how far we can go and see how good we actually are.

“If you start getting too comfortable, it’s a waste really. You want to keep pushing yourself to see how far you can go. At the end of your career, I can say I reached this level and I know how good I was – and be proud of what I’ve done.”

Boyce’s four-goal haul against Inverness took him on to 52 in less than three seasons since joining in 2014 following his second spell with Cliftonville, with the attacker only 10 goals behind County’s record scorer Michael Gardyne.

Boyce could barely have envisaged a more successful step up from part-time football, adding: “For the first six months I was here, I didn’t really play. I thought it was going to be like Germany all over again and I would probably end up back in Ireland.

“Steven Ferguson, as our caretaker manager, started me in that first game down at Hamilton after Derek Adams left and we got hammered 4-0. I thought my only chance had gone. But then the manager Jim McIntyre came in and I worked my way into his plan.”