Alan Forrest was announced as the cinch Premiership Player of the Month for January on Tuesday. The Heart of Midlothian star spoke to the media ahead of Wednesday night's trip to face St Johnstone.

The 27-year-old winger discussed the award, his progress across the past 18 months at Hearts, building consistency and the conversation with Lawrence Shankland after he netted the opening goal against Dundee following his teammate's mazy run.

READ MORE: Alan Forrest: The most improved Hearts star who is becoming undroppable

You can't keep out of the headlines just now?

I'm buzzing to get the award and it's good to get recognition for your performances. I'm happy with the way things are going with the team winning every week so hopefully, we keep that going.

Do you like being in the limelight?

It's obviously good to get recognition for your performances but you don't want to rest on that. You want to continue the form you are in and contribute to games as much as you can with goals and assists to help the team. The main thing for me is just doing well to help the team and picking up three points.

The manager challenged you to be more consistent. How has that mentality helped?

The manager has been good for all the players. You see how we are playing - we are defending well, the forward players are creating more chances and our confidence is high. The manager is always demanding. Even though we have a gap [in the league] just now, there hasn't been talk about taking our foot off the gas or anything. It's always about pushing and demanding more and we got into this game looking for three points again. That's helping me as a player and it's helping the team. We are just taking one game at a time and focusing on that.

Steven Naismith has challenged you to be a main player at Hearts?

If you are getting opportunities to play, it's down to you to stay in the team and for you to kick on. You've got to go in with that attitude in a game and be like: 'I'm going to score or I'm going to contribute.' You need to have that mentality. If you're going to get a run in the team and keep your place, I think you need to be doing that more often than not. For me now, it's not just about getting through a game. It's about how can I affect the game? All the attackers have that. You see what Lawrence is doing with his goals, Vargas and Oda as well. Every attacker now is contributing so that takes some pressure off Shanks.

Does confidence play a big part in that?

Yeah, I'm enjoying my performances now. I've managed to get a few more assists and I scored at the weekend. For any player, if they are playing and contributing they will play with a smile on their face and be confident. That goes for the team as well. We are creating chances with the attacking football we are playing. It isn't just down to individuals, it's the way the team are playing. With everyone playing well, I think everyone is thriving.

READ MORE: Steven Naismith Q&A: Hearts progression, Connor Smith exit, honest conversations

Is there one specific area where you've grown in the last 18 months or so?

I think maybe more running off the ball, more runs in behind. I've tried to add that to my game. When the striker drops deep, you need to go into that space. If I take up better attacking positions then maybe I can score a goal from them. I think I'm making more effective runs. I'd like to continue that and I aim to assist or score a goal.

How does it feel now being a key attacker after 18 months at Hearts?

It's about taking that responsibility. If you are chosen, it's your mindset to go into the game and ask: 'How can I affect this game and add to the team any way I can?' Maybe it's getting to the byline and putting crosses in, or making runs to be in a better position to score a goal. I'm constantly looking to do that.

Did Lawrence Shankland say anything about you taking the ball off his feet to score on Saturday?

After the game, he said if I missed it he would have been on my case. Luckily enough, I took it off him and scored. He was fine. I don't think he will be caring too much because we got a goal from it. It's one where, if you miss, I think you would be getting an earful.