'Everything needed changed': Steven Naismith reveals his plan to change Hearts' fortunes

Steven Naismith has promised to inject an element of fun back into the way Hearts play after accusing the underperforming squad of “coasting” in recent weeks.
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The caretaker boss will take charge of his first game this Saturday when the Tynecastle side travel to Easter Road for an Edinburgh derby meeting with Hibs.

Hearts have dropped to fourth place in the cinch Premiership after a run of six defeats in seven matches, which ultimately led to the sacking of Robbie Neilson.

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Despite promises every week to make improvements on what had occurred before, Hearts continued to drift in a malaise and results suffered.

Steven Naismith talks things over with Frankie McAvoy at Hearts training on Thursday. Picture: SNSSteven Naismith talks things over with Frankie McAvoy at Hearts training on Thursday. Picture: SNS
Steven Naismith talks things over with Frankie McAvoy at Hearts training on Thursday. Picture: SNS

Naismith will now try to get Hearts out of this slump by allowing the players to express themselves.

“I’ve made loads of changes,” he said. “To give us the best chance, everything needed changed. From the way meetings are run, the look of meetings, the way training is run, everything like that.

When asked specifically what needed to change on the pitch, he said: “The biggest thing is enjoying it.

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"From what I have seen there are really good players here, better than I thought. But the first thing I said to the players is: ‘The last six weeks, we’ve coasted.

“‘You’ve not got the points gap because you have coasted along, and been safe, and why have you been safe? Because you have felt uncomfortable and you have not enjoyed being in the atmosphere on the pitch.

“‘So strip all that out, get to the point where you just enjoy it and you’re not thinking about what you’re going to do.

"The best time I had as a player was when I got the ball and I did something. Why did I do it? I don’t know, I just did it. That’s when you play your best stuff.

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“That’s what we need to get back to. For the last 18 months they have played at that level and it has been brilliant, they haven’t turned into bad players. So it’s an issue of getting rid of any baggage, any feeling of being safe.

“I think we’re going to score more goals, and I think the boys will enjoy it and we’ll attack and we’ll play football everyone enjoys, everyone buys into, and that gives us the best chance of winning games.”