Former Gers hero talks up rival's title chances
Photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images

Steven Naismith believes Hearts can regain table-topping form

Former Rangers player, Steven Naismith, believes Hearts can rediscover the form that took them to the top of the Scottish Premiership in September.

The striker won three SPL titles, a Scottish Cup and two Scottish League Cups, in a trophy-laden spell with the Gers between 2007 and 2012.

Naismith holds aloft the Scottish League Cup alongside Nikica Jelavic in 2011. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

He then left for a lucrative deal with Everton in the Premier League, before joining Norwich in 2016. A serious ankle injury hampered his impact at The Canaries. However, this season, in his second loan spell at Tynecastle, Naismith had been experiencing a renaissance.

He bagged seven goals and three assists in the first ten league games of the season, before a knee injury sustained in the League Cup semi-final, has seen him sidelined since October.

Now, post-surgery, he is on the verge of a return. Despite their recent drop in form, he remains confident about what Hearts can achieve this season.

Naismith believes it’s about building momentum

The veteran’s early season form earned him a Scotland recall. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

‘It’s about building groups of games and getting good performances’, he told BBC Sport. 

‘We have shown over the first three or four months of the season, that we are capable of doing that.’

He is one of several big players returning from injury this month, and believes that will help the cause.

‘You would hope with more competition for places, the performances rise again.’

Hearts got off to a flyer at the beginning of the season, beating Celtic 1-0 at Tynecastle. (Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Such was their outstanding start to the season, even Hearts’ shocking run of four straight defeats, hasn’t completely ruled them out of the title reckoning.

Rangers sit just one point ahead of the Edinburgh side with a game in hand, while Celtic are three clear with two in hand.

They certainly aren’t too far back to make a challenge at some stage, but the big question is whether or not they have the quality in the squad to maintain it.

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