Watch Steven Naismith go now he has got off the mark

Steven Naismith opened his goal account for Hearts on Tuesday night. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Steven Naismith opened his goal account for Hearts on Tuesday night. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Steven Naismith is finally fit and firing, insists Hearts’ chief Craig Levein, after the Norwich City loanee got off the mark with his first goal of the season.

Naimsith scored in Tuesday’s Scottish Premiership 1-1 draw against his first club Kilmarnock, following an injury-disrupted season which had continued north of the border since his January loan switch.

“Steven has had that hamstring problem. He wasn’t playing a lot at Norwich,” said Levein. “He had to get back up to speed and that looks like him set for the remainder of the season.

“He said he felt good and I was pleased with him. He grew into the game and that will help his confidence.”

Levein was less impressed with former Canaries’ striker Kyle Lafferty, who missed a stoppage time penalty to seal all three points at Tynecastle.

“Kyle’s penalty kind of summed up his performance,” Levein told the Edinburgh Evening News. “In any game, you’d be settling for a penalty in the last minute to win it. Unfortunately it just didn’t go our way.

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“He did some good things, but I thought he was off it a bit. He’s been really good for us but he wasn’t at his best. His penalty attempt was quite sloppy and hit with hope rather than any real determination.

“Even if you forget about his penalty, it was far from his best performance.

“I can’t be too critical as he’s our top scorer and has bailed us out on many occasions.”

Naismith’s fellow City loan export, Russell Martin, had a better night with second-placed Rangers thumping St Johnstone 4-1 to cut the gap to leaders Celtic to six points.

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