First Team

MacLean hails Naismith partnership

28th December 2018

Steven MacLean hopes his strike partnership with Steven Naismith can pick up where it left off prior to the latter’s injury as Hearts gear up for the final Edinburgh derby of 2018.

The duo scored 16 goals between them before Naismith was sidelined for two months, but have featured together in Hearts’ last two matches, with Naisy scoring in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Hamilton Accies.

MacLean has hailed the impact his returning strike partner has had on the team and thinks their link-up play can only benefit the team as the Jambos head to Easter Road on Saturday. 

“It (the Accies win) was a good result for us. The first half, I think we played a lot better than we have – it was a very good performance.

“It was us getting back to what we had been doing at the start of the season.

“Steven Naismith is a big part of that. Because obviously it enabled us to go back to our old shape, as well.

“I think we all knew our roles. It was back to what it was like before all the injuries.

“Steven brings not just great quality but great experience to the side. 

“It was good to have him playing up alongside me again. It’s great to have him as a strike partner. 

“Listen, he’s got so much quality and you hear him talking all the time. He wants me talking to him all the time too.

‘That means we always know where we’re going to be, in relation to each other, on the pitch. It’s a big help.

“We look forward to Saturday now – and then we’ll get even more bodies back, which means we’ll only get stronger going forward.”