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.”

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