NEIL Alexander reckons Hearts’ January arrival Abiola Dauda is ready to make his presence felt against Hibernian in tomorrow night’s William Hill Scottish Cup replay showdown at Easter Road.

The Nigerian marksman, who joined the Tynecastle club on deadline day, was handed a baptism of fire when he was pitched straight into the starting XI for the Edinburgh derby.

Dauda, a replacement for Osman Sow after the latter’s lucrative switch to Chinese side Henan Jianye, struggled to make an impact during a frantic 2-2 draw.

However, Dauda illustrated his potential four days later when he scored a late double in Hearts’ 3-0 win over Ross County in Dingwall after coming on as a second-half substitute.

Allied to further impressive displays in training, goalkeeper Alexander reckons the Vitesse Arnhem loanee is rapidly finding his feet in Scotland. The 37-year-old said: “The goals last midweek will do Abiola’s confidence the world of good.

“He is also looking very good in training so I think he can help kick us on for the rest of the season.

After his goals against County, he will be going into the upcoming games with a lot of confidence.

“Of course Osman Sow is a huge loss, and obviously you want to keep your best players, but it was a bit of good business for the club and you have to move on.

“Guys move on and you have to replace them and we feel we have done that by bringing in good players like Abiola.”

Alexander, who enjoyed an unexpected afternoon without action when Hearts’ Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Partick Thistle was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Tynecastle on Saturday, has also been buoyed by the return of Jamie Walker.

The winger also found the net against County, capping his first start since October 24 with a goal after undergoing surgery to cure a persistent knee injury.

In addition to adding Don Cowie, John Souttar and Dauda on the last day of the transfer window, Alexander believes Walker’s return will prove just as important during the run-in.

He added: “We feel we have brought in good players and we also have Jamie coming back. He is getting a few more games and getting back to full fitness. He is looking good, so he is like a new signing for us.”

Meanwhile, Hearts have concerns over the fitness of Prince Buaben for the replay.

The Ghanaian had been ruled out of the weekend visit of Partick prior to its postponement after he limped off 10 minutes into the 2-2 draw at with Hibs at Tynecastle.

However, Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson is hopeful that he will be able to include the midfielder in the matchday squad for the replay, which will be boosted by the return of Igor Rossi and Blazej Augustyn.

Neilson said: “We’re gearing Prince up for the game on Tuesday.

“He had a problem with his hamstring injury at the start of the season and he had another wee niggle in it against Hibs.

“He came off early but if he’d played on any longer, it could have been worse. Hopefully he’ll be all right for Tuesday.”