Steven Naismith hails Hearts striker Kyosuke Tagawa and makes prediction for next season

Steven Naismith has hailed Kyosuke Tagawa after the striker scored two goals in two games to finish what has been a tough first season at Hearts.

The Japanese forward was brought in to Tynecastle from FC Tokyo with high expectations but so far he has failed to live up to that. Tagawa has had to make do with infrequent sub appearance and attempt to have an impact with them and didn't have a Premiership goal to his name before this week.

His only strike for the Jambos was from a league cup game against Partick Thistle. But that is no longer the case after the 25-year-old hit the net after being handed a start for the 2-2 draw with St Mirren. He was back on the bench to face Rangers today but came on to grab a point with an equaliser deep into stoppage time.

The Jambos boss is pleased for his player after watching him keep going through the tough times.

“I’m pleased for him because it has been tough for him,” said Naismith. “As a new player coming into the club, the wee breaks sometimes make or break you. He has probably been on the wrong side of quite a lot of them this season.

"In the last week he has shown that he is starting to get on the right side of them. His movement and anticipation for his goal is why we brought him to the club and then it’s an excellent finish."

Asked if Tagawa can kick on next season, Naismith added: “Yeah. When you have got a 31-goal scorer in the squad it is going to be hard to dislodge him. Overall, every player in this squad has contributed. There have been tough times for certain individuals but they have always given it their all and that is why we have had a successful season. They have shown that they are all up for the fight.”