First team

Naismith delighted with Hearts response

27 September 2023

Head coach Steven Naismith has praised his Hearts players for bouncing back to overcome Kilmarnock and book a trip to Hampden in November.


The Jambos edged out Killie at Rugby Park thanks to Alex Lowry’s 92nd minute winner. Jorge Grant had put Hearts ahead in the first half and although Brad Lyons had equalised for Killie, midway through the second half, Naismith was pleased with the way Hearts responded to that setback before going on to win the game.  


“I’m really pleased,” he told Hearts TV at full-time.


“I understand there is an expectation on it but off the back of the poor result at the weekend and us not being good enough defensively, I thought tonight we were really good.


“We had a game plan, a way we wanted to play. Taking the surface into consideration, I thought all night we carried a threat and consistently created good chances.


“We then get the setback. The game can then go one of two ways. We can feel sorry for ourselves, be safe and it becomes a long 25 minutes, or we battle, we find our moments to take our chances and that is what we done.


‘For me, you have to be pleased with so many individual performances. Jorge Grant has not played loads of minutes, but his performance tonight was superb. Calem, in the middle of the pitch, I thought that was his best game tonight, it showed an insight as to what he is going to bring to this football club. He is a very good player; he just needs time.


“Then the boys coming off the bench. Alex Lowry. I am not sure many players would’ve had the composure that he had. The one thing I’ve said to him is that I want to see that more often. We see flashes of great talent and he is a great talent, but we need to see it in games like this.


“That is what I said to him before he went on the pitch. Go and be the match winner and he turns up with an incredible moment so that’s brilliant for him.”