First Team

Naismith: Team player

19th October 2018

Steven Naismith says he’s happy to be recognised for personal achievements, but his sole focus is on the team’s success.

The forward was named Ladbrokes Premiership player of the month or September after bagging five goals for the Jambos as they continued their excellent start to the season.

The 32-year-old believes being settled at Hearts was a big factor in his own form, but he won’t be resting on his laurels as the team shape up for an important run of fixtures, starting with Aberdeen at Tynecastle tomorrow.

Being settled…it’s probably one of the biggest things that goes unnoticed,” he said. “I could’ve had a summer where it dragged on until the very end of the window and then you’re playing a bit of catch up, whereas I’m grateful for everybody involved that it got done very quickly and I was able to have quite a settled pre season and familiarise myself with the new squad that had been built.

“That definitely has a part to play in how successful we’ve been at the start of the season, and also me personally.

“The first month past of the season we did really well and then we pushed that on to the second and then in the last game we’ve maybe had out first, if you like, challenge with the result, so it’s important for us this month to push back as a team and show that we do deserve to be up against the teams that we’re going to come up against this month.

“It’s important for us all but that’s the motivation rather than the personal awards to be honest, for me.

“It’s the biggest month we’ve had, in terms of fixtures and what’s at stake. You’ve got a semi-final in there and you’re playing every team going into the games expecting to win and thinking they can win.

“Hopefully it leads to some very exciting football matches and ones that we can out on top. That’s got to be our aim, to be honest.”

Steven’s pre-match press conference is available to watch in full on HeartsTV