Let’s win the Scottish Cup for injured John Souttar, says Hearts captain Steven Naismith

Hearts captain Steven Naismith says that the squad owe it to themselves and John Souttar to have a positive run-in to the season, as they chase Premiership survival and some silverware. The home side booked a Scottish Cup semi-final place last night with a 1-0 victory over Rangers but learned that they will be without their international defender for the remainder of the campaign after he was carried off with a suspected torn Achilles. The club vice captain, who missed five months with an Achilles injury early in his Hearts career, only returned from an ankle injury at the turn of the year.

John Souttar receives medical attention during Hearts' Scottish Cup win over Rangers. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA

His manager, Daniel Stendel, said: “It’s his other ankle, he will not play again this season.”

“I’m gutted for him,” said Naismith. “With the injuries he’s had it’s not as if they’re muscular and it can be put down to his professionalism, he’s one of the most professional guys I’ve worked with and he’s desperate to get better. It’s really sad and it will be a few tough coming weeks but he’s mentally strong and he will come back from it.

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“To have the injuries he’s had is brutal for him. He’s a guy who is just starting out internationally and wants to kick on and he’s getting hit with a sledgehammer like that.”

Hearts played with grit and plenty of attacking verve at Tynecastle and Naismith has urged the team to continue this form as they seek to extricate themselves from their position at the foot of the Premiership.

“As a team we need to perform from now until the end of the season as well as we can for ourselves, get to a cup final and do it for John,” added the Tynecastle captain.

Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal was struck by a coin thrown from the away end during the game.