The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

Shankland brace gets Hearts beating again


Hearts’ Steven Naismith won the battle of the under-pressure managers, but knows it won’t be long before his position is being questioned again.

The Jambos came up with their third away league victory of the season to bounce back up to fourth spot in the Premiershi­p table.

His team had only won once in their previous five outings and that had led to growing discontent amongst the supporters.

Although Naismith was happier than Motherwell boss Stuart Kettlewell at time up – his side hasn’t won in nine matches – there’s no danger of him getting carried away.

He said: “It’s a big win because there’s a demand and an expectatio­n.

“That’s not just one week and then it’s off. It’s there every week. If we don’t keep winning, the pressure comes.

“But in this job you’re always under pressure. Even after this win you’ll be under pressure from somebody.”

Naismith reckons that winning on the road shows the progress he is making at the club.

He added: “A big question of this squad has been their away form – it has been really poor over the years.

“It’s something that takes time. “There’s some moments you want to be better, but you hope that over time they get eradicated and the good stuff shines through.”

There were couple of early chances in the game – one for each side – that were definitely in the “should have done better” category.

Motherwell’s Theo Bair jumped to meet a Spittal corner-kick and sent his unchalleng­ed header wide of the target.

His lack of a goal-scorer’s instinct was there for all to see. It wasn’t a major surprise when he was replaced at half-time.

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