Football Academy

Naisy: we need to use this as fuel

27th April 2022

Steven Naismith was disappointed at Hearts’ first-half performance that saw Rangers take two decisive goals in the Scottish Youth Cup final at Hampden.

First half strikes from Darren McInally and Rory Wilson was enough to sink the Wee Jambos at the national stadium, and Naisy believed it took going two goals down for the team to spark into life.
“That’s the biggest frustration,” he told
“The boys are hurting in there and they’re disappointed that they’ve not managed to win the cup but when they look back at it – there was a gulf between the two teams.
“They were more relaxed and played better football, causing us problems. Second half we decide to throw caution to the wind and played with a freedom I wanted to see from them in the first half.
“I do need to single out Liam McFarlane. I thought the first ten minutes for him was proper performance from a goalie. When you need him to step up, he steps up. Tonight, he did that.”
Naisy spent some time in the dressing room after the game. What was his message to his young charges?
“There’s two different messages, I think,” he revealed.
“One to the older boys who’ll be moving up to first team and reserve level is that they need to expect this pressure every week. When you’re playing in front of crowds every week, you need to deal with it.
“For the younger ones, they need to use this disappointment to get back here and win it.”