First team

Naismith: We showed a good mentality

16 December 2023

Head Coach Steven Naismith admitted he was delighted with his Hearts players following a 2-0 victory at Celtic Park.

First half strikes from Stephen Kingsley and Lawrence Shankland saw the men in maroon head down the tunnel with the half-time lead, before dealing with everything their opponents threw at them in the second half to secure a first Parkhead victory since 2009. 


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


"Really pleased with so many aspects of the performance. How we set up in our structure, how we were composed in possession, the quality of the goals we score. 


"Then if you look a bit deeper, you've got Jorge Grant getting injured, but wanting to stay on, you have Nathaniel Atkinson who is just coming back and giving his all for as long as he can. 


"You have two of the academy boys playing in the game, Macaulay making his debut. So there are so many aspects that are pleasing. 


"I have said consistently, that we need to be a team that challenges in these games. In these big games, you need to compete and we showed that as a group today. 


"When you are against a team that have the resources and the budget that they do, you can't just go toe-to-toe with them. You need to accept that you are going to have to defend, which I thought we were incredible at. 


"Then in those moments, when you are tired and win possession, you have to be good enough to cause them problems and I think we showed that today.


"Mentality is a big thing when you play for Hearts. I have said that consistently. It is not going to happen overnight, but to go from the second half performance last week to today, shows we have a good mentality.