Derek McInnes piles praise on one Hearts star as he busts a myth about Steven Naismith's side

The Kilmarnock boss has talked up the side destined for third in the Premiership.
Derek McInnes has weighed in on HeartsDerek McInnes has weighed in on Hearts
Derek McInnes has weighed in on Hearts

Derek McInnes knows Hearts have one special player in particular - but they are far from a one-man band.

Steven Naismith's side drew with the 52-year-old's Kilmarnock side on Saturday in their latest Premiership tussle. The hosts were ahead through a Kenneth Vargas header but an excellent curling effort by Marley Watkins made it 1-1 on the day. Hearts remain in third and 11 points clear of Kilmarnock in fourth, who booked a top six spot with a point.

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Lawrence Shankland was the man who crossed it in for Vargas to nod home and McInnes is a huge fan of the striker approaching 30 goals for the season. While he is the main talisman, the Rugby Park boss doesn't buy the notion Hearts are carried by one man, and insists it's a collective effort sending Naismith's men into a commanding third place lead.

He said: "You'd expect Hearts to be challenging for third. Their objective was totally different to ours at the start of the campaign. I think Steven's doing a good job here, he's accumulated a lot of good players and it's a well run club doing a lot of good things.

"We've had tight games with them this season. We have far more draws but in Lawrence they've got that type of striker who can make those draws into wins. They're not a one man team because they're a great squad but Shankland's a special player.

"We committed to two strikers because we couldn't get a striker to get us 20. Marley's on 12 and Vass (Kyle Vassell) in on 9 so in simple terms we put two together and we've got our 20 goals.

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"With seven games to go, we’re not going to be kicking back and giving ourselves a pat on the back. We’re in fourth place at the minute and we need to do all we can to hold on to that, there are some good teams coming from behind to try and challenge that and test us and we have to be ready for that."

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