Why Steven Naismith is glad Hearts have signed '˜man mountain' David Vanecek

Hearts ace Steven Naismith may have only played 60 minutes of a friendly alongside new signing David Vanecek but he is delighted the club have recruited the Czech striker.

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 9:00 am
Updated Thursday, 17th January 2019, 9:03 am

The duo started the 1-0 defeat to Lokeren last Friday, and although neither found the back of the net they were afforded valuable time to begin building a relationship in the final third.

Since the club announced the signing of Vanecek last summer hype has been intensified over his arrival from FK Teplice.

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Steven Naismith has welcomed the arrival of David Vanecek. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker
Steven Naismith has welcomed the arrival of David Vanecek. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker

Naismith added to that hype, talking up the benefits of having strikers like Vanecek and Uche Ikpeazu.

When asked by Sportsound presenter David Currie about the Czech “man mountain”, the Scotland international said the striker has been “very impressive”.

“I think more modern day you don’t find that many strikers who enjoy the fight against centre-halves, it is more about having the ball and different parts of your game,” he told the BBC. “Whereas we have got two guys who enjoy the fight with centre-halves, want to be involved and hold it.

“In training, especially, he has shown he can do that.”

With Livingston arriving at Tynecastle on Sunday in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, Naismith provided his take on the December’s debacle which saw Hearts lose 5-0 at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

The work rate, or lack of, was what concerned the 32-year-old the most with the club’s Christmas night out cancelled in the aftermath.

“It was not a great night at all,” he said. “In terms of the season we hadn’t been on a great run but things were turning but that was a bolt out the blue, nobody really expected it. A few home truths were said by the manager. The reaction to it has been very good.

“It came down to the squad. The manager was like ‘you can decide what you’re going do and what you think’s right’. We have got enough experienced boys who have been there before and it’s been cancelled.

“It was the manner of the defeat.

“If you get beat 1-0 or whatever, the manager’s reaction might be slightly different but as a team it’s probably one of the only games this season that it was not good enough from a work rate point of view. Okay you might not have the ability that some of the other players do but work rate has got to be a given.”

The manager is very fair with players throughout the season and he gave us a night out in Spain.

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