First team

Naismith: The belief is growing

27 January 2024

Head coach Steven Naismith insists the men in maroon can take real belief from the last seven days, after progressing to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup and notching two cinch Premiership victories against Dundee and Aberdeen respectively. 


A Jorge Grant penalty and wonder strike from Lawrence Shankland saw Hearts defeat the Dons 2-0 at Tynecastle Park on Saturday, extending their unbeaten run to eight matches and lead in third spot to ten points. 


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


“As expected, we knew it was going to be a battle. The games against Aberdeen have been that way.


“The way they played, with their wide players naturally wanting to play inside. They weren’t concerned about leaving any space when they pressed, they just went straight for the ball and we were second best in the individual duals and reacting to second balls.


“When we did get the ball and we moved it, we created chances in the final the third, but it was one of those games where the fight was more part of the first half than any football.


“We tweaked it at half-time. In terms of where our wide players played and how we pressed them, but straight from the second half you could see we were much better.


“We were in their half more and once we get the goal; we showed our quality and we controlled near enough all of the second half.


“Our decision making was good, and in the end, it could’ve been more than two, so overall really pleased.


“This last week has given us real belief. It’s been a brilliant week for us, but we want to get better. We have an opportunity to be better and every week we will continue to work on improving in all areas.”