Hearts' energy addressed as Steven Naismith gives an update on Beni Baningime and Jorge Grant for Rosenborg

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Tynecastle management see positives in Kilmarnock draw

Hearts technical director Steven Naismith remained upbeat following Sunday’s goalless Premiership draw with Kilmarnock and predicted an energetic display against Rosenborg in Thursday’s European tie.

The Norwegians travel across the North Sea for the Europa Conference League third qualifying round return leg after being given the weekend off in their domestic league. Naismith is adamant Hearts can produce the required verve as they look to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“If we don't then we have a problem. If players don't want to play on a European night at Tynecastle then that's a problem,” he said. “I’m comfortable with it. The distance between this game and that game means that the boys get enough time to recover and be up for it. We will need to use the squad and that's why we have recruited players who will improve us. They have shown glimpses of that in the period they have been here.

“There was some frustration [against Kilmarnock] but I’m realistic and I’ve got the experience of being in these situations and there’s been a few new players come in, it’s new to them, we have played away from home in Europe and come back. You’ll have seen it a million times that these are tough performances even before you look at the opposition.

“It was a slow start. Everyone was waiting for somebody to ignite the performance but, as the game went on and the second half developed, it looked very good for us. We were very composed and we made Kilmarnock defend. A big positive is we looked really secure at the back. That’s one of the big areas we needed to improve on in set plays and general play and I thought we did look solid.”

Travelling back from Trondheim on Friday gave Hearts little time to prepare for Killie’s visit. “It’s going to have an impact,” admitted Naismith. “I’ve been there as a player. It’s hard. As much as you prepare properly and do everything right, it’s an intense period. We’ve not had the luxury of having many competitive games and the adrenaline in the build up to games takes a bit out of of you as well. And we’ve got new players who are still trying to bed in. So you’ve got to juggle all that and overall there were loads of pleasing aspects to our performance.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s the fine tuning but, in this first month of the season if you’re not losing games, that’s a good foundation to build on. We got a good result last weekend and we've had a good defensive performance where we maybe didn't create like we have done in games last season – but I’m comfortable that part will definitely come.”

Hearts technical director Steven Naismith issues instructions against Kilmarnock. Pic: SNSHearts technical director Steven Naismith issues instructions against Kilmarnock. Pic: SNS
Hearts technical director Steven Naismith issues instructions against Kilmarnock. Pic: SNS

Recent signing Kenneth Vargas made his Hearts debut and injected a turn of pace. “That's why we signed him. He's a really good player. For me, the enthusiasm and workrate are the things you hope that young players coming in have. Us signing him feels very low-risk. Both defensively and in attack he has good attributes and I think he will be a good signing for us.”

Naismith said Beni Baningime and Jorge Grant both missed the Kilmarnock match with hamstring complaints which are “very minor”. They will be assessed ahead of the Rosenborg match.

Related topics: