Steven Naismith speaks on Hearts' coronavirus protocols, risk factor, and facing teams who don't test regularly

Hearts forward spoke candidly on Sportsound programme

By Patrick McPartlin
Thursday, 1st October 2020, 12:32 pm
Steven Naismith has spoken about the prospect of facing teams that don't test regularly
Steven Naismith has spoken about the prospect of facing teams that don't test regularly

Steven Naismith has given an insight into the Covid-19 protocols in place at Hearts but believes positive cases will continue to happen unless teams are in “real” bubbles.

During an appearance on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound programme the Tynecastle forward spoke about the prospect of facing teams who are not regularly testing players.

Naismith said: “At Hearts, they are very strict on everything you do.

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"We're getting tested twice a week so first thing we do [at training] is get a temperature check, then the Covid test.

"If anybody needs anything inside the building, you're effectively booking an appointment.

"If you have symptoms you have to get in contact with the doctors and there's a process of identifying red flags.”

Despite stringent guidelines, the 34-year-old believes the Scottish game will continue to see positive cases of coronavirus.

Naismith added: “People go home to their families who are working in different environments, there’s kids at school.

"It's going to happen. Unless you have unlimited funds to put a team in a real bubble in a hotel away from everyone else, you're never going to stop it.”

Robbie Neilson’s side will face teams in the Championship that are not testing as often as the Capital club, and Naismith believes the disparity could have a major effect on results and players’ health.

He continued: “If a club has to perform missing five players, and that happens three or four times a season, that could be 12, 15 points.

"The playing field should be the same. We could have two players self-isolating for two weeks then play against a team on Saturday with eight positive tests but nobody knew about it. How does that work?”

The Scotland internationalist branded the situation “crazy” as he opened up on the psychological aspect.

"It's definitely in your mind. In training or games, the winning mentality takes over but if you take a step back and look at it, it's crazy,” he said.

"When Bobby [Zlamal] came back from St Mirren he was tested before he was back with the group, so that cut the risk.

"The protocols in the Premiership are strong, with testing twice a week, and that’s probably all you can ask clubs to do.

"It’s everything else underneath that needs tidied up.”