SPL

It was a big win – Steven Naismith delight as Hearts claim points at Motherwell

By Sports Desk November 11, 2023

Steven Naismith savoured a “big win” for Hearts as two goals from Lawrence Shankland helped see off Motherwell at Fir Park.

The Tynecastle side had been under rising pressure after a mixed start to the season but this victory moved them up into fourth place in the table.

Naismith was pleased with his side’s performance but knew they would need to replicate it after the international break.

He said: “It was a big win because of our previous results.

“It’s important you stop that and get the points you need as quickly as possible. I thought we did that with what was a really good performance overall.

“It should have been a bigger margin because we had a couple more chances and we should have had a penalty or two. But the positive is that when Motherwell scored, we defended really well in the dying moments.

“That had been questioned with us losing some quick goals back to back in games. There’s a demand and an expectation.

“That’s not just one week and then it’s off. It’s there every week. It’s pleasing the way we performed got us that.

“A big question of this squad has been their away form which has been really poor over the years. That’s now four away games this season that we’ve won. It’s something that takes time.

“There are some moments you want to be better but you hope over time they get eradicated and the good stuff shines through. But if we don’t keep winning, the pressure comes.

“In this job you’re always under pressure. Even after this win, you’ll be under pressure from somebody.”

Motherwell, who scored through a late Blair Spittal penalty, have now gone nine games without a win and manager Stuart Kettlewell will try to find solutions on the training ground over the next fortnight.

He said: “What we have to do over the international break is work hard.

“I never shied away from that even when we were winning games. You have to put the hours in and that’s what we’re going to do again.

“That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this poor run and we can’t shirk it or hide from it. That’s the challenge that has been laid down to the players.

“People are asking questions about the run we’ve been on and I get that and accept it. But I believe we have the people and the formula to arrest this form we’re in.”

Related items

  • No changes as Brazil confirm final Copa America squad No changes as Brazil confirm final Copa America squad

    Dorival Junior has stuck with the same 26-man squad he provisionally selected for Brazil's 2024 Copa America campaign.

    Juventus' Bremer, Atalanta midfielder Ederson and Porto forward Pepe were all called up when CONMEBOL announced the squads were being expanded from 23 players to 26.

    The Brazilian had already had to make changes after Manchester City's Ederson was ruled out due to an injury sustained at the end of the Premier League season, with Rafael brought in to replace him.

    Lucas Paqueta also keeps his place after the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) confirmed he would be allowed to stay with the squad despite being charged by the England Football Association (FA) for allegedly breaching betting rules.

    Casemiro, Gabriel Jesus and Thiago Silva had already been left out of the provisional squad announced in May, while Richarlison and Neymar are both missing due to injury.

    Brazil are nine-time winners of the Copa America and will begin their campaign against Costa Rica on June 24 before also facing Paraguay and Colombia in Group D.

    Final Brazil squad: Alisson (Liverpool), Bento (Atletico PR), Rafael (Sao Paolo), Beraldo (PSG), Bremer (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Gabriel (Arsenal), Marquinhos (PSG), Danilo (Juventus), Yan Couto (Girona), Guilherme Arana (Atletico MG), Wendell (Porto), Andreas Pereira (Fulham), Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Ederson (Atalanta), Joao Gomes (Wolves), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham), Endrick (Palmeiras), Evanilson (Porto), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Pepe (Porto), Raphinha (Barcelona), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Savinho (Girona), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

  • Raphinha hits back after Mbappe's criticism of South American football Raphinha hits back after Mbappe's criticism of South American football

    Raphinha has responded to Kylian Mbappe's claims that the Euros are harder than the World Cup by reminding the Frenchman who beat them in the 2022 final.

    In an interview, Mbappe noted that France had not won the European Championships in 24 years, which is something he will be looking to change this year.

    That observation then led to him saying, "The Euros is a difficult competition, more than a World Cup. All the teams know each other, and the style of soccer is similar. Group stages are difficult."

    However, Brazil's Raphinha was not happy with the 25-year-old's comparison, pointing out that Argentina prevented them from winning the World Cup in 2022.

    "Unfortunately for him and fortunately for us, he lost a World Cup against a South American team," Raphinha said in a press conference ahead of the Copa America.

    The Barcelona winger also referenced other comments made by Mbappe from a couple of years ago. The new Real Madrid star implied World Cup qualification was easier in South America than in Europe, and suggested the football "wasn't as advanced".

    Raphinha added, "I would like to see the European teams playing in the South American qualifiers on the fields where we play. That's when I'd see if it's easy or hard."

    Brazil begin their Copa America campaign against Costa Rica on June 24, while France will face Austria in their Euro 2024 opener on Monday.

  • Pavlovic signs two-year contract extension with Bayern Pavlovic signs two-year contract extension with Bayern

    Aleksandar Pavlovic has signed a contract extension which will keep him at Bayern Munich until 2029.

    Pavlovic's current contract was due to run out in 2027, but the club have chosen to trigger a two-year extension.

    The 20-year-old enjoyed an impressive breakout campaign in 2023-24, in which he made 22 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals and providing two assists.

    Pavlovic joined Bayern as a seven-year-old and was handed his debut for the first team in November last year when he came off the bench to assist Harry Kane in a 4-0 victory.

    His club form earned him a call-up to Germany's squad for Euro 2024, but he was forced to withdraw after coming down with tonsillitis days before the opener against Scotland.

    "Unfortunately, this tonsillitis has denied me my dream of playing in the European Championship on home turf, which is very disappointing – but I'm thrilled that my contract with FC Bayern has been extended until 2029," Pavlovic said.

    "It shows the club has trust in me, which I'm eager to repay. FC Bayern is my home. I'm proud, happy and grateful, want to win trophies with the team and continue my personal development."

    Pavlovic made 19 appearances in the Bundesliga this season, winning 15 of those, with the team scoring 54 goals in the process.

    In the 15 games that the midfielder missed in the league, Bayern won just eight times, conceding 14 more goals.  

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.