First team

Naismith previews Rangers visit

05 December 2023

Steven Naismith admits the November Manager of the Month award is recognition for the consistent hard work put in by staff and players.


It was three league wins out of three for the Jambos in November and they kicked off December with a hard-fought victory at Rugby Park last weekend. 


Speaking to the media at the pre-match press conference, Naismith said:


“It was a good month. The awards are nice. It’s a bit of recognition for the hard work that goes on in the months before. As much as you are not getting the results, the staff and players are always working really hard, so it is a nice bit of recognition for that.


“We know there is a long way to go but it shows that we are going in the right direction. The results and performances have all been different, but there have been lots of positives in that month.”


The Jambos welcome Rangers to Gorgie on Wednesday and Naismith admits the men in maroon will be looking to take the game to their opponents. 


“It’s no different to any other game,” he explained. “The slight difference is we’ve played them quite recently in consecutive games. We feel we should’ve got more out of them, especially the game at Ibrox.


“So, there is that element of frustration for us and wanting to put that right. But it’s like any game, especially with us being at home, we want to be the team that is on the front foot, causing them problems and we want to win the game.


“Whether that is against Rangers or anyone else, we go into every game wanting the result as we know how important results are."


Naismith was full of praise for skipper Lawrence Shankland, who has been awarded the cinch Premiership Player of the Month for December. 


The Hearts striker is in red hot form just now and despite a tough run earlier in the season, Naismith admits he was never concerned about Shankland's goals tally. 


“I was never concerned. It would’ve been nice if he was scoring more. But I think when he wasn’t scoring, he was still contributing in other ways, I think that is part of his game.


“But any goalscorer goes through spells when they don’t score goals, but they don’t change their habits, where they’re going in the box or how they’re finishing because they know it will come back and that is what has happened with Shanks.”


You can watch Steven's press conference in full at Hearts TV.