Steven Naismith speaks on Hearts transfers and what 'circumstances dictate'

Steven Naismith admits he has been in a far better position to get Hearts transfers over the line this summer than last as he outlined the club's strategy.

The 37-year-old was only appointed Jambos head coach on June 7 last year and then had to get to work on squad building - bringing in the likes of Frankie Kent, Kenneth Vargas, Kyosuke Tagawa and Calem Nieuwenhof. This year he has been able to be proactive and has already added six to his squad, with at least one to come.

The Jambos managed to secure pre-contracts for domestic talents Blair Spittal, Yan Dhanda, James Penrice and Ryan Fulton and they've been supplemented by the signings of Daniel Oyegoke from Brentford and Musa Drammeh from Sevilla. Costa Rica right-back Gerald Taylor is expected to follow.

Naismith admits it has all been down to circumstance but is nonetheless pleased to have been able to get so much done so quickly.

“By the time everything was sorted and we got underway last year, you are trying to catch up. You end up being reactive,” he explained to the Edinburgh News. “I felt it was important that we get away from being reactive every window. Things move fast in football so you need to be constantly looking to make sure you have everything covered.

“We worked really hard over the last year to identify where we need to improve, and identify players we think connect to Hearts who can make a difference. I think that's what we have done, so it's been a good summer so far.

“Doing business early depends on the player and circumstances. If a player is coming out of contract then you can get a pre-contract done early. If there is an area of the team where we think we need to move quickly, we will do that. There might be other situations where we have identified somebody who we think fits us but is not a priority, so that might take a bit longer.

“The clear thing that needs to be right is that we are ready to move. You have an idea of where you want to go and who you want to bring in. That's the thing. Yes, we have managed to get six signings in quickly, but four of them were pre-contracts so they were always going to happen quickly. It's nice to get our business done as early as possible, but circumstances dictate that.”