Steven Naismith identifies Hearts' weaknesses as he reacts to the 5-0 defeat at Rangers

Head coach disappointed after a heavy defeat in Glasgow

Steven Naismith lamented Hearts' defending after the 5-0 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox and admitted lessons must be learned from the performance. Losing 3-0 at half-time, the visitors were overwhelmed and conceded some poor goals as their 12-match unbeaten run ended in Glasgow.

Mohamed Diomande, Oscar Cortes and Cyriel Dessers scored before the break, with Dessers and substitute Fabio Silva striking in the second half. "We reacted well to losing the first one and got a bit more of the game, we played in better areas of the pitch but then with a number of the goals the quality is really poor from our point of view," admitted Naismith, the Tynecastle head coach.

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"We have good control of possession on the halfway line and then we lose it and it ends up in the back of the net. So it is a lesson to learn but the progress we have made this season from a defensive point of view has been really good.  

"That doesn't just go out the window in one game. The small details are in those moments against the best teams. If you give it up then you are going to concede goals. The flip of that is having to be brave to have control of the ball to try and win the game."

The away dressing room was a quiet scene at full-time as Naismith admitted he did not need to say much to emphasise the sub-standard display. "Everybody knew. We are an honest open group so there was not much conversation that had to be had," he added.

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"We lost poor goals, we never had enough control when we had the ball and we never had the control we had in previous games. It is disappointing because we have made good progress but it is a reality check. Against the top teams it is tough and you have got to be near on perfect to compete and take points from them."

Naismith pointed to the fact Rangers went top of the Premiership last weekend as a key factor in their motivation. They sit five points clear of Celtic after dispensing with Hearts.

"We lost five goals that were probably in the group of the weakest goals we have concede at bad times in the game," said Naismith. "After last week and Rangers going top of the league and playing before Celtic this week, we knew that they were going to start fast and the atmosphere would be loud and we probably didn't deal with well enough.

"When we concede the two goals, one early in the first half, one early in the second half it is an uphill battle. It is a lesson to be learned. It's just the quality of the goals. We made big strides this season in how well we have defended but you have to show respect to Rangers, they are in a good moment. The league turned last week and we always knew they would start fast.

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"They were really aggressive in their press and we didn't deal with that well enough which led to us giving up chances. When you are playing against Rangers and Celtic, when you give up chances like that they have the quality to hurt you and that's what happened."

Hearts must hope the result does not impact their momentum after such a strong winter period. They had won eight matches in succession ahead of the trip to Ibrox. "I would hope it wouldn't because we are in a really good place. Our form, the way we have won games in the run of games there, we have done it in different ways," Naismith pointed out.

"This is more about trying to co compete with the teams at the top, that is the benchmark. We have a bit more control on the ball [in the second half] but you have to try to get to that point when the game is competitive and that's what you want.

"To be at the top and trying to be in Europe and competing in these games, you need to be good at that and you need do that so that is probably the biggest takeaway. When the game is in the balance, can we put a foothold in the game better than we did today?"

Asked why Japanese winger Yutaro Oda was not involved in the Hearts squad, Naismith replied: "He picked up a knock yesterday [Friday[ and with a game 24 hours away he was never going to be ready."

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