Steven Naismith labels Hearts 'not good enough' and 'powderpuff' after Dundee loss - plus transfer and injury updates

Hearts' technical director Steven Naismith in conversation with head coach Frankie McAvoy. Pic: SNS
Hearts' technical director Steven Naismith in conversation with head coach Frankie McAvoy. Pic: SNS

Hearts technical director Steven Naismith labelled Sunday’s display at Dundee “not good enough” after Luke McCowan’s winner in the 1-0 defeat. Naismith criticised Hearts in an honest assessment of the 90 minutes.

“I wouldn't say it is fine margins, we weren't good enough today. It's simple as that,” he admitted. “I don't think we deserved much out of the game. We are fortunate at half-time to be 0-0. We never really caused them many problems and they caused us more problems. That's a reflection of the first half.

“We need to make three changes which did make an impact. For 15-20 minutes we caused them loads of problems but I felt we went away from what was getting us good situations. We went away from that and started making the wrong pass, got intercepted, cut out or gave a foul away and the game dies off a bit. We then compound that with a really poor goal which has ultimately cost us.

“At times in the game we need to do things quicker and there are times where we need to be set up. If you are not set up then don't do it. That comes down to communication. Ultimately it's a poor day, we don't get anything from the game.

“The boys will just need to learn from that part of it and understand the difference between coming away with a draw might be that pass, taking a quick free-kick or whatever. As the game wore on I thought Dundee saw it out well. They made passes at the right time and frustrated us. We were powderpuff towards the end and that's never going to get you anything.”

Aidan Denholm’s loose ball after a short free-kick led to Dundee’s goal but Naismith refused to criticise the teenager. “He'll learn from it. He's a strong character. He plays his part in terms of losing the ball but do we need to take the free-kick quick if he's getting the ball? Or, if somebody doesn't think we should be taking it quick, somebody needs to tell him that we are not taking the free-kick quick. There's more than just blame at Aidan Denholm.”

Barrie McKay and Calem Niewenhof missed out for Hearts and Naismith gave an update on their fitness. “With Barrie, I think it's worse than a couple of days or a couple of weeks. We're still waiting to hear back from the specialist. He will probably be out a bit longer than we had hoped. He felt it in his knee but the symptoms were showing it might have been calf or hamstring. I think it is more something to do with the knee. Until we hear what the specialist has to say, we aren't going to speculate. Calem has a calf issue at the moment so I imagine he will miss the next couple of games. He isn't that bad.”

Naismith added that Hearts are not looking to add to their squad before Thursday’s signing deadline. “If something came up that we felt would improve us, we would potentially do something,” he said. “Some players might move on if they aren't happy so, if we lose players, we might need to replace them. We are not actively pushing to try and improve anything at the moment.”