First team

Naismith's delight at Hearts' quality

19 February 2024

Steven Naismith says Hearts could have won by even more on Saturday after watching his side march to another three points with a 2-0 win over Motherwell at Tynecastle Park.


The victory saw Hearts extend their winning run to eight on the spin, making it twelve unbeaten as the men in maroon opened up a fourteen-point gap on fourth placed Kilmarnock.


Goals from Lawrence Shankland and Kenneth Vargas did the damage to the Steelmen, with the boss highlighting it could have been even more for Jambos.


“I think it was as expected,” he told Hearts TV.


“Motherwell came to frustrate us and make us try to play around them rather than going through them. For much of the first half, I thought we had that control without a real cutting edge.


“We never really gave them any chances – any we did stemmed from our own decision making. Second half we changed it because we’re hungry for the win and don’t want to settle for anything less.


“We were a threat when we had the ball, and the players that come into the game were good. We then score a goal which is a brilliant delivery complimented by a brilliant header. From there, we managed the game brilliantly and picked them off within the game.


“We created good chances, and one frustration is that we could have scored even more. It’s a brilliant result against a good team that haven’t lost this year. That was our challenge, and we did it with two goals, but could have had even more.”


With a trip to Ibrox to face Rangers up next, Naismith praised the backing of the Hearts fans and asked them to keep up their noisy support as the team enter a stretch of games against Rangers, Hibs and Celtic.


“I think the fans appreciate the hard work that’s gone in from everybody,” he added.


“Even when we lost the ball, we still looked to attack. Throughout the game, there was a noise generated and that’s what we need to keep doing.


“We need that when things aren’t going our way. Even when we’re winning by two or three. It makes it a great atmosphere for us and a horrible one for the opposition.


“We’ve had a lot of confidence within us for a good while now. We’ve had many challenges over the last three or four months and we’ve risen to them. We were really disappointed at Ibrox last time not to take any points after a very good performance.


“We want to go back there and show up and prove that we’re here to compete and try and get the win.”