Steven Naismith understands Hearts fan demands as grip on third ‘feels different’ for Andrew McKinlay

Steven Naismith understands Hearts fan demands as grip on third ‘feels different’ for Andrew McKinlay

Andrew McKinlay is overjoyed to see Steven Naismith repay the Hearts board’s patience by proving his detractors wrong.

The Jambos hired the rookie manager after he impressed enough while taking over the squad on an interim basis at the close of last season.

Many fans were pleased with it after hearing promises of more exciting attacking football,

but others were concerned about a lack of experience.

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The narrative shifted towards the latter when results were far from ideal at the start of his season,

and there was also the question of Naismith being named technical director without the appropriate coaching credentials to manage in European play.

The 37-year-old was able to silence the critics and turn around the squad’s fortunes to the point where they are the best team in the country,

12 points ahead of third place. The club’s CEO has praised the manager for how he has handled the situation.

McKinlay stated: “After the final game of last season,

there were a lot of fans who wanted us to hire Steven (following his stint as temporary manager),

but when we began this season, that seemed to fade and it became boisterous rapidly.

“Some of that may have been due to the issue we had with the job titles,

which Steven completely accepted since he realized that was the only way we could do it under European rules.

That probably did not assist him, but Steven never complained throughout that time.

“Steven is also highly aware of the needs of the Hearts supporters.

Other people may ask, “Why are they like that?” or “Why are they so demanding?”.

But he has never said anything like that; he accepts things as they are.

“Yes, I’m sure he wishes they took a little longer to go against the team (during matches),

but that’s how it is; he’s played out there and understands it.

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