Lawrence Shankland pays tribute to Robert Snodgrass ahead of impending release from Hearts
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Following the decision to dispense with the services of head coach Robbie Neilson amid a poor run of results which saw the club drop from third place in the table, it emerged officials were in discussions with Snodgrass over an agreement to rip up the player’s contract before it expires in the summer.
Interim boss Steven Naismith has since revealed he didn’t see his former international team-mate getting many minutes between now and the end of the campaign and thought it would be better if he returned down south to be with his family.
Ahead of this weekend’s trip to Easter Road – which Snodgrass is unavailable for through suspension – Shankland paid tribute to the 35-year-old.
“For me, Snoddy was great to have about, he put demands on the groups and individuals,” said the captain.
“He asked questions and tested you. He was good for me with the captaincy, he was an experienced head and he gave me advice when I needed it. He’s someone I hold in high regard.”
Snodgrass’ impending exit is just one of the changes Naismith has made behind the scenes as he tries to arrest Hearts’ poor form and get them back in the driving seat for Europe.
“There’s always a bit of a transition but the majority of the boys will have been in this situation before with managers changing, I know I certainly have,” said Shankland.
“Managers and coaches all have a different way of working and Naisy will have ideas about how he wants to do things. Robbie had his way, but that’s what he means about the changes. Naisy is putting his ideas across and it’s up to us to execute them.
“If you look at results, it tells you something has gone wrong. If coasting is the right word, that might be the case, but we are on a run of bad results. We’ve fallen into a bit of a trap and lost the gap we had. The important thing is there is plenty of football left to play and we can salvage it."