Steven Naismith bemoans Hearts 'naivety' after Celtic defeat in honest assessment

Steven Naismith has bemoaned his side's "naivety" in their 3-0 defeat to Celtic earlier this afternoon.

Hearts were bested by their opponents at Parkhead albeit they did create a number of strong goal scoring opportunities they simply didn't take. It was a frustration for the head coach as he felt his side were well in the game and enjoying some possession. Big chances were spurned by the usually dependable Lawrence Shankland as well as Stephen Kingsley and Cam Devlin and, for Naismith, those are the major differences in matches against the best.

"We started off really well and it was two teams who were comfortable enough on the ball,” he said. “The difference probably was that we didn’t take our chances and they did. In games, goals change the dynamic. We concede the first, which was a poor, poor goal from us so quickly in the game as we’ve got the best defensive record from set-plays.

“I then thought we got a hold of the ball and created some chances. You can come to Celtic Park and not create any chances but we had some really good chances. They don’t go in, either through a good save or us not doing well enough.

“At the second goal, we’ve got 100 per cent possession and can’t give it up. We give the ball away too cheaply, we’ve not got a good structure and it’s a simple goal for Celtic. When you’re going to do that it makes it an uphill challenge. But I thought there was a lot of good stuff from us.”

Naismith was not too happy with his side conceding sloppy goals and he put it down to naivety creeping in from some of his stars.

“Was I frustrated at being 2-0 down despite doing well? Yeah. I think if we want to be better and progress and be a team that really wants success, you have to be able to come to these grounds and not sit in for 90 minutes and hope to get a goal. You need to have some form of attack and I thought we had that, especially in the first half.

“The flip side of it is, when you give good players half-chances they’ll take them. We gave them good chances and they were obviously going to take them. There was some naivety about some of our decisions where you have to recognise what time in the game it is and where you are on the pitch. When you lose that ball, our structure wasn’t great and it allowed Celtic to have momentum.

“I thought Zander had some really good saves as well. So there’s that naivety but it’s our first year together and to create the chances we did is the positive. But we need to learn that we can’t give up the ball when we have, as we would class it, 100 per cent possession. We have to be as expansive as we can but knowing that we can’t give the ball away. We did and we got punished.”