First Team

Men of steel

1st October 2018

Steven Naismith knows the next run of games will bring about a different style of challenge, but believes his side has a ‘steeliness’ that can see them through.

The Jambos saw off St Johnstone on Saturday 2-1 at Tynecastle to maintain a five-point lead at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Unbeaten in 13 matches across all competitions, the table-toppers head to Ibrox on Sunday, with games against Aberdeen, Celtic and Hibs on the horizon.

The league’s top scorer is expecting the aforementioned sides to pose a different type of threat than what Hearts have faced in recent weeks, but points to the fact that the men in maroon have already won in a variety of ways this season as they enter into a tough run of fixtures.

“It would be a bit disrespectful to the teams we’ve already faced to say ‘the season starts now’,” said Steven. “We’ve started really well with the teams that have been in front of us. Livingston showed that teams will make it tough for us.

“Now, we’ll probably be facing teams looking to win the game straight away rather than setting up to counter us, so they’ll be more open games, but we’re confident.

“We’ve got a steeliness about us this season, as opposed to last season. We’re comfortable with a slender lead, we’re confident in our ability to see it out.

“It’s a good trait to have. I had a couple of shots on Saturday, but we had a lot of chances we didn’t take, which is being pernickety.

“It’s good that we’re in those positions.

“We do feel comfortable in these positions. If you look at all our results this season, we’ve done most things.

“Motherwell was a game where we didn’t play too well, had to hold firm and we ground out a win, whereas Hamilton and St Mirren it was more free-flowing stuff, so we have a lot in our armoury.”