Hearts manager job admission as Steven Naismith explains where he stands

Interim boss underlines importance of next three games for the club and his career
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Steven Naismith admits Hearts’ next three matches will go a long way to deciding whether he is considered for the manager's job on a permanent basis and whether or not he wants the opportunity.

The 36-year-old former skipper was handed the reins last month until the end of the season following the sacking of Robbie Neilson and has a busy and important 10 days in front of him.

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Hearts have taken four points from four matches under Naismith and are five points behind Aberdeen in the battle for third place in the Scottish Premiership. His team finish the campaign with home games against Aberdeen and city rivals Hibs either side of a trip to Ibrox to face Rangers next Wednesday. European places are at stake with third, fourth and fifth place finishes all offering something different if Celtic win the Scottish Cup.

Steven Naismith speaking to the media at Oriam todaySteven Naismith speaking to the media at Oriam today
Steven Naismith speaking to the media at Oriam today

“Without a shadow of a doubt,” said Naismith when asked if he expects the remaining matches to impact on what the Hearts board choose to do next with the manager’s position. “All along, the club asked me to take the team until the end of the season and then we'll review things at the end of the season.

“We're halfway along that, and these next three games are without doubt going to have an impact on what happens. That might not just be on results, it's about our performances, the way we play, how we do in the games. There's loads of aspects to what decision will be made by the club. For me, it's been a brilliant experience so far. I've loved every minute of it and I think I've done a good job so far.”

Asked if he wants to continue in the role in the longer term, Naismith – who had been working as Hearts B team manager since hanging up his boots as a player – replied: “I'll decide that probably at the end of the season. It's been great, I've loved it, there's not been many negatives at all. But I've always said the decision needs to be right for me about when I'm going to be a manager and where that is. I'm trying not to get too carried away one way or another. There's been no talks about anything beyond this season and I'm comfortable with it that way.”