First team

Naismith’s derby day excitement

06 October 2023

Head Coach Steven Naismith believes the keys to success in the Edinburgh Derby involve controlling your emotions and dealing with the occasion. 


Hearts welcome their neighbours to Gorgie on Saturday for the first derby of the season and although the games are often frantic, Naismith believes keeping a cool head is crucial.


The men in maroon come into the match in good form, having recorded two away wins in their last two fixtures and Naismith believes his side are starting to gather momentum. 


Speaking to the media at the pre-match press conference, he said: “It’s an exciting game.


“Both teams come into it having had a couple of good results in the cup. The first derby of the season is always a fantastic game to be involved in and hopefully it’s a game we can come out on top in.


“We’ve had a few things to navigate at the start of the season, being in Europe and the demand that has had on the schedule. For me, that has to be the aim for the future, and that we deal better with that than we have this season.


“Then we picked up a few injuries and those players were all heavily involved in our attacking play and that has been the part of our game that has been a bit stop-start. It’s either been really good, or it hasn’t quite clicked but we’re starting to pick up some positive results now.


“The two away wins last week was something we challenged the squad with as it has been an Achilles heel for a number of years and that is something that if we can improve, we can definitely be a successful team.


“First of all, dealing with the atmosphere and the occasion better than your opposition. I’m comfortable that the majority of our group have experienced it and understand what it is going to be like.


“The atmosphere is going to be incredible. It will be a full house with both sets of fans there, so it’s about dealing with that and then having the calmness during the game to stick to the game plan and get the better of your opposition.


“Those are the key factors. We prepare for every game in the same way. We do a lot of work with the video and on the training pitch so we’re not just thinking, we won last week so we’ll just do the same thing again. The game has moved on and so have the players in terms of their needs.”


The Jambos are ready to welcome Kyosuke Tagawa and Cammy Devlin back into the matchday squad and there was also a positive update regarding Alex Cochrane.


“Our squad is looking better than it did last week. We have got Cammy Devlin and Kyosuke Tagawa back in and Alex Cochrane is back on the training pitch too. So we’ve got a few bodies back which is a nice option to have.”