When Lawrence Shankland curled in the winning goal at Easter Road on Wednesday night, eagle-eyed viewers watching on from home will have spotted that the Heart of Midlothian captain didn’t exactly know what to do with himself. As the away support behind the goal erupted into unbridled ecstasy, the Hearts No.9 wheeled away towards the home fans before performing a quick about-turn, running in a loop around the Hibernian half before soaking up the acclaim of the travelling fans.

Shankland’s reaction was perfectly understandable. It’s not every day you score a last-minute winner in an Edinburgh derby, particularly when you haven’t been at your best. The few extra quid in his next payslip for his goal bonus will surely be welcome, but the 28-year-old didn’t have to wait long for an opportunity to line his pockets after his last-gasp intervention in Leith.

“I done about 4k in my celebration,” Shankland noted. “To be honest, if I turned round and picked up the coins I'd have been a rich man. There were a few flying past. I might take a venture out to that corner!

“It was a special feeling and your adrenaline takes over at those points. I made a U-turn when I saw the coins coming. It was special and I enjoyed it.”

READ MORE: Will Steven Naismith tinker with Hearts' shape for Ross County test? - Predicted XIs

Hearts fans have certainly been enjoying Shankland’s exploits of late. His winning strike against Hibs was his 16th goal of the season so far, and speculation linking the centre-forward with a January exit from the club has naturally increased as the goals have flown in.

The striker’s future has understandably been a big talking point of late, but the man himself is focused on quietly getting on with the day job. Rumours of a move are part and parcel of his upturn in form, he reasons, but he won’t be distracted by the outside noise.

“I've always said when I deal with speculation I deal with the here and now,” Shankland explained. “For me, I just look at it that it is a sign I'm doing well.

“There's never speculation when you are not doing so well so it's a good thing for me that people are talking about me in a positive manner. It shows I'm doing well at my club and that I'm scoring goals. That's honestly as far as I look at it.

“If it comes about that's when I'll sit down and talk about it but until then I've got 18 months on my contract, I'm happy here, enjoying it, I'm scoring goals. That's honestly as far as I'm looking at it.”

Shankland will be looking to add to his tally this afternoon when Hearts host Ross County, with Naismith’s men looking to record a fourth consecutive clean sheet and an eighth win in their last 10 league fixtures.

With a trip to Livingston to follow before the Premiership’s winter break, Shankland knows that he and his team-mates have an excellent opportunity to consolidate third place.

“We've had a decent month,” he added. “Really decent, actually. The disappointment of [losing to] Aberdeen has probably been the only down point of it but I feel we have bounced back really well from that, picked ourselves up and got some great wins - Parkhead, Easter Road, home to St Mirren in recent weeks.

READ MORE: The key factors in Hearts derby win: Cochrane, Beni role, 0.06 Shankland shot

“It has been good and we've got two more games before the break. If we go win them we'll put ourselves in a good position.

“If you get yourselves in a good position before the break then you can go and enjoy it, get a bit of rest, ready to come back and go again. There have been some really big games in there, big wins.

“Wednesday is a massive one, you don't play your greatest but go away with three points, you take that. It shows we stuck at it, kept a clean sheet and Zander [Clark] saving the penalty, bailing me out massively! Huge credit goes to him.

“I feel he's had a wee bit of stick here and there. I don't know if he deserved it, all in all. A lot of clean sheets in there and he's produced big moments and he should enjoy that. I certainly owe him a beer!

“The defence is doing really well. That comes as a whole. Defending set plays when you are asked, defending balls into the box we've done really well. We can be proud of that on and look to keep going with it.”