Naisy: One of our best displays this season

22 December 2022

The men in maroon raced into a 3-0 half-time lead thanks to goals from Makenzie Kirk, Luke Rathie and Bobby McLuckie and although Rangers battled back in the second half, Hearts saw the game out for a deserved three points.

Hearts lost by the same scoreline at Ferguson Park in October in a match they really should have won, but Naismith was delighted to see his side take their revenge in the return fixture.

“When we played them at the start of the season, we played some really good stuff, but individual mistakes or naivety cost us. Tonight, I thought we played even better,” he said.

“The conditions at times were windy and the rain was coming down, but we continued to play like we do all the time. When they tried to stop us in certain places, we found another solution. We scored three goals in the first half, but we had six or seven really good opportunities to get another goal and in the second half we have another big chance.

“Inevitably, the game changed. We were going to play against the wind in the second half, but the boys stood up to it. Again, I feel like I’m repeating myself, but at the start of the season we lost the exact same game.

“It’s great to see the boys are understanding what we’re saying,” Naismith added. “When we were under a bit of pressure, their speed of play and their decision making is much better and that makes a difference.

“They now understand how to get through that period of pressure. When we were in our own half for a lot of the time, we did not resort to booting the ball long, we tried to play our way through them, and it got us up the pitch and when the boys believe in that it helps and it brings confidence.

“Towards the end of the game we managed the game very well. The goals we lose our probably cheap, but overall, the performance was up there with one of our best this season.”