Currently in fourth place, the Jambos trail the Dons by two points going into the penultimate round of league fixtures on Wednesday night. Hearts have the momentum given that they defeated Aberdeen 2-1 last weekend to trim the gap, but with Barry Robson’s team hosting St Mirren at the same time that Naismith takes his men to Govan, they appear to have the kinder fixture ahead of their own trip to Glasgow to face Celtic on the final day, while Hearts take on Hibs at Tynecastle.
Nevertheless, Naismith has called for his team to play with calmness and has admitted that he will be keeping abreast of developments in the north-east as Hearts look for a favour from the Buddies, who themselves are chasing fifth place and the potential for European football next term.
“It’s not a must-win," said Naismith. “It would be silly to say it is. You might then come flying out the traps and then you lose the game and still only be two points behind. We will manage it the way we want to but we will go to win the game and cause Rangers problems. We will have to be very diligent out of possession and stop their threats as they have some good players in their team. They have guys who haven’t played a lot who are getting minutes now and trying to grab their chance.”
Asked whether he will have an eye on events at Pittodrie, Naismith added: “I won’t be overly concerned about what is happening with Aberdeen but if there is something to be said we will make sure we know it. That’s the sensible way to go about it but we will focus on ourselves and trying to win our game. If we get to a point where we need to go and win it then that’s what what we will look to do. It could impact what we will do in terms of changes in the game or subs. It would be silly and naive not to do that, but we are going there with the same game plan and that’s to win.”