First team

Naismith: A hard-fought win

02 December 2023

Steven Naismith has praised his Hearts players for coming out on top in what he described as an ugly encounter at Rugby Park. 


The Jambos went ahead in the first half through an own goal and despite numerous balls being lofted into their box by Kilmarnock, they stood firm to record another clean sheet and a fourth consecutive cinch Premiership victory.


Speaking to Hearts TV at full-time, Naismith said:


“It was a hard-fought win. But I’m not surprised as I think we have shown that. Even in the times when we haven’t been getting the results this season, we have showed it in moments. The biggest thing is the consistency.


“It’s not just last-ditch defending. It’s our positional play in the game, it’s where our midfielders pick the ball up and what they do with the ball when we get it.


“It was a very ugly game, but it was never going to be anything else. It was like the cup game; it was very similar. When you come here, you have to play the conditions as much as Kilmarnock and I thought today we did that really well.


“It’s becoming more normal because we are understanding it now. The boys are in good positions now to get to the ball first or get contact on the opponent to stop them getting a clear shot on goal.


“I think in the small moments you can play; we did. We probably didn’t create as many chances as we wanted today, but I will compromise on everything on the pitch to get the result and that’s what we did today.”