St Mirren to interview Hearts and Scotland coach Steven Naismith for manager's job

St Mirren plan to interview Hearts and Scotland coach Steven Naismith as a potential successor to manager Jim Goodwin.

Steven Naismith is wanted by managerless St Mirren.
Steven Naismith is wanted by managerless St Mirren.

Aberdeen confirmed Goodwin’s appointment on Saturday morning and Naismith, 35, is on the shortlist to replace him. An approach has been made and a formal interview is expected to take place this week.

Naismith currently coaches Hearts Under-18s and has worked with the first team at Riccarton this season. He is also part of Scotland manager’s Steve Clarke’s backroom staff having retired from playing last summer.

St Mirren are interested in speaking to Jack Ross, who was recently dismissed by Hibs, as well as the Aberdeen captain Scott Brown and Naismith. They are keen to appoint Goodwin’s sucessor quickly but want to ensure they get the right man.

Hearts visit Paisley in the Premiership next Saturday but it remains to be seen if the new man will be in place by then. Asked about Saints’ interest in Naismith, the Tynecastle manager Robbie Neilson admitted he can understand the attraction.

“Steven is a coach who’s come in and is doing a really good job with the Under-18s,” said Neilson. “I’m very impressed with him but there will be a number of coaches they’re looking at.

“We see him every day in training but whether it’s one for him is up to him to decide. I think it’ll be a long shortlist for that one.”

Neilson was unhappy after Hearts lost 2-1 at St Johnstone, their second successive defeat against a team bottom of the Premiership. Ali Crawford and Jamie McCart scored either side of Nathaniel Atkinson’s first goal for the Edinburgh club at McDiarmid Park.

The result means Hearts have not won any of their last five matches in all competitions inside 90 minutes and Neilson is demanding better.

“It’s disappointing. The last two weeks haven’t been good enough for the level we’ve shown we can get to. We’ve had a really good start and middle and we’re going through a wee dip,” he said.

“We need to get back to being aggressive with the ball. We were tentative which was disappointing. We aren’t a good enough team to win every single week. We’re sitting clear in third and we need to remember where we are.

“We should be putting on a better display and have to take the flak that comes with losing but I have to look at the bigger picture. We know we will have ups and downs. We came up from the Championship and we are a big club and are expected to win but we are still building as a team. Two years ago we were bottom.

“There’s massive negativity because we lost last week [against Dundee] and this week and we have to stick together and push forwards.

“We aren’t going to go full level the whole time so we need to realise it’s about how quickly we come out of these dips. When the game’s not going for you you get wee things like that.”

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