Naismith takes positives from draw

12 August 2022

It was a game where things just didn’t really seem to click for the Wee Jambos in the final third. Spartans looked at their most threatening from set pieces, but Hearts stood firm and were able to largely nullify their opponents in open play.

Naismith believes the result once again shows the lessons his side have learned since losing the return fixture 1-0 at Ainslie Park in July.

“Going forward we lacked that intensity and connection between our forward players, he said.

“On the whole, six of them have come back on a plane from Spain (First Team training camp) today and we haven’t had much time to work on the training pitch.

“The defensive side of it was really good. The progression from the start of the season when we played Spartans in the exact same type of game and lost is very pleasing.

“They’ve got big guys up top who are very clever in how they play. The amount of times we win the second ball and instead of just hooking it on, we try to play and build and have attacks.

“You won’t get many bigger tests in terms of physicality and directness than tonight. They are praying on a mistake, and we are definitely better at knowing when to take a touch and when to hook it on.

“Again, when we receive the ball we are intelligent enough to work out how to bring us up the pitch without risking the ball.

“The amount of times we step out with the ball, and they retreat into their own half was great. That is us set and playing the game where we want to play it. There are definitely more positives than negatives today.”

The men in maroon are back in action at Ferguson Park on Saturday against Open Goal Broomhill and Naismith admitted that right now everyone is looking forward to a matchday.

“The games are really enjoyable at the minute because we are seeing what we are working on in training. The boys are getting braver. They’re finding rhythms within each other, and they understand each other’s positions and how they play and where they want the ball.

“So, that is all really good. It will be a different test on Saturday. Another challenge, but it’s one we are looking forward to.”

Hearts: McFarlane, Watson, Darge ©, Tait, Denholm, Kirk, Gordon (Duncan,80) , Forrester, Rathie, Sandilands (Crookston, 88), McLuckie (Thomas, 69)

Subs: Stone, Thomas, Smutek, Duncan, Crookston, Friel, Nair


Spartans: Meek, Woods, Allan, Waugh, Laing, Whyte, Armstrong, McFarland ©, Henderson, Brown, Russell

Subs: Komocki, Brown, Penker, Morrison, Swann, Dishington, Jones