Former Rangers star Steven Naismith has opened up on his long-term plans to become a manager after missing out on the St Mirren job to ex-Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson and insists he is in no rush to become a manager in his own right as he learns his craft as part of Hearts’ Academy staff.
Naismith was given permission to speak to the Buddies about replacing Jim Goodwin in Paisley before St Mirren named Robinson as their new boss on a two-and-a-half-year contract and the ex-Rangers man confessed that even just holding talks with clubs has been a “brilliant experience” for him.
“I’ve been a coach for nine months and I’ve spoken to two clubs,” Naismith told the Edinburgh Evening News. “I haven’t been looking for a job, I’ve just been asked if I would have conversations.
“That’s brilliant experience even if nothing else comes of it. I’m content and happy. It’s very important that, when you do choose to become a manager, you make the right decision and don’t compromise. When it’s your first job, it needs to be right. If it isn’t right and you compromise, you are just asking for trouble.
“I’m comfortable here but I’m always thinking forward.
“I’ve really enjoyed this role because I’ve learned so much. As long as I’m stimulated and learning, I’m happy. But there will be a time I want to be a manager.
“I’m involved with the national team just now, plus I’ve got a great role at a great club like Hearts.
“When I retired, I always said to myself I’m in no rush. That has stuck with me. I’m in no rush to get a job.
“When I joined Hearts, that was part of the conversation.
“They wanted me to get involved in the coaching side after I finished playing.”
After his controversial Rangers exit in 2012, Naismith has been a polarising figure for the Gers support over the last decade – admittedly doing little to help himself at times.
While it is no surprise to see Naismith linked with managerial roles at Premiership clubs, it’ll be interesting to see whether the door to a Rangers return is ever reopened for him.
It isn’t something that is likely to happen any time in the near future but 10-15 years from now, who knows what could happen.