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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 January 2006, 14:22 GMT
Johnson completes Hearts switch
Lee Johnson and Hearts head coach Graham Rix
Lee Johnson is an admirer of Hearts head coach Graham Rix
Lee Johnson has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Hearts after the Tynecastle club agreed a 50,000 fee with Yeovil Town.

The midfielder becomes Hearts' first signing of the January transfer window.

Johnson told Hearts' official website: "Once I knew Graham Rix was interested, that was it for me. There was only one place I wanted to come.

"He has an absolutely fabulous reputation as a coach. I'm really excited about working with him."

Johnson, who scored 28 goals in 227 appearances after joining Yeovil from Brighton in the summer of 2001, has already been impressed with his new club.

"I didn't realise how big this club was," said Newmarket-born Johnson, son of now Bristol City manager Gary.
He is dynamic. He wants to get on the ball and makes passes
Hearts head coach Graham Rix

"I was speaking to the gaffer this morning and I said to him that there is nothing that Arsenal have got that Hearts haven't, as I was at Arsenal when I was younger.

"The facilities are unbelievable - from the yoga teacher, to the nutritionists, to the psychologist, to the facilities and the outdoor pitches. It's all top notch.

"I don't know if Arsenal had a yoga teacher, they didn't when I was there and I was there for two to three years.

"I left Arsenal as there was a coach I didn't get on with and went to Watford when I was 17.

"I didn't really get the chance I was expecting.

"Like anything, you have to jump down the ladder to get up it."

Rix explained why he had spent six weeks tracking his target.

"He will bring enthusiasm, ability, he wants to play and he wants to get better," he said.

"He wants to play for Hearts. These are all important factors.

"He is dynamic. He wants to get on the ball and makes passes. He is full of energy. He is competitive.

"He is a good age and he is only going to get better."

Rix was keen to increase the size of his squad to compensate for injuries.

"We've been threadbare in the last few weeks and I don't think people have realised what a tricky situation it was for us," he explained.

The head coach did not expect Johnson to break into the first-team immediately but pointed out that the midfielder was Yeovil's player of the year for the last three seasons, attracting the interest of a number of clubs.

Yeovil boss Steve Thompson told his club's website: "I am disappointed to lose a player of Lee's ability.

"But the move is a fabulous opportunity for Lee to advance his career in Scotland."

"Hearts are currently second in the SPL and have a tremendous chance of playing in the Champions League, and Lee is very keen to test himself at this high level," added Thompson.




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Interview: Lee Johnson



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