First team

Pre-season catch up with Steven Naismith

28 June 2024

The Jambos returned to the training pitch today and Hearts TV were there to catch up with Steven Naismith.


The Head Coach sat down to talk all manner of things maroon as his side gears up for a blockbuster 2024/25 campaign.


On returning for pre-season, Steven said: “It’s good to finally be back and get everybody back involved. Over the last week we’ve seen bits of the players at different times but having the group back together, with the exception of a few internationals, is good. Getting back on the pitch, and from the session today, you can see that everybody is refreshed from their break and they’re excited about the season ahead.”


On getting transfer business done early: “It was an important part. We got the four pre-contract guys in and sorted, that was great. We managed to spend more time with them and give them a bit more information before they came in. The ones that were in a bit later have joined the group and as I’ve said over the last two windows, the emphasis on characters has been big. They’ve all settled in great. We’ve got a brilliant squad for anybody new who is coming in, they’re very welcoming, and they drag the boys with them.”  


On what the players can expect in training: “The important thing going through pre-season is that you have loads of contact time. That’s not just on the pitch but it’s in meetings, how much information can we give. There’s tough moments. I believe there is an element of mentality through a pre season. As much as we’re probably 95% with the ball, over my career I’ve managed to collect a few good runs that test your mentality. They’re scattered in throughout pre-season, which is maybe slightly ‘old school’ but the response last season was good. The encouragement they give each other whilst doing it is excellent but in the main it’s about getting our ideas across to the players. We saw the progression through last season, this season we should hopefully be starting from a better base than we did last season.”


On the benefits of the upcoming warm weather training camp: “For me it’s about being together 24/7. We’ve got a few ideas of how we run the whole camp, how we keep everybody engaged, how we build that team bonding side of things as well as working hard on the fitness side but also the details side of things. In the course of a day there could be three sessions on the pitch, there can also be four or five meeting within that to do with tactics, detail, us as a group…there is a load of information you can get out there and that’s the key part for me.”


On friendly matches at Tynecastle: “There is good history between ourselves and Spurs. There is not much that needs to be said about Spurs, they’re an excellent team with an excellent manager and world class stars that you’ll see in the flesh. That’s probably the biggest draw, and how we can compete against that. With Leyton Orient we have history going back to World War 1, so they are two friendlies that probably gives you a bit of an insight into the feel of European nights, midweek, and also the opposition level is good. With it being the holiday season it’s a great opportunity for everybody to cast an eye over new signings, cast an eye on the boys that have come back, but also we’re playing good opposition.”


On the William Hill Premiership fixture list being announced: “I’m delighted we’re at home first. That’s a big one for me because I think everybody looks forward to that first week of the competitive season starting. The feeling from fans, from everybody around that it’s happening now is great. For us to have a full crowd, weather hopefully good, pitch excellent and us ready to go is exciting.”


Steven’s interview is available to watch in full on Hearts TV by clicking here.