Naismith happy with new Devlin deal as Hearts aim for Hampden semi

The 25-year-old midfielder has signed a contract extension at the Tynecastle club.

Hearts boss Steven Naismith spoke of his delight to get “infectious” midfielder Cammy Devlin tied up on a new deal.

The Australian international midfielder put pen to paper on an extension that will keep him at the club until 2025 on Monday.

Naismith rates the 25-year-old highly and backs him to improve as a player at Tynecastle over the coming season.

He said: “I think it’s important for the club that we try and keep the potential within the squad for longer because as players get more comfortable and grow and mature as players the consistency levels improve, the quality improves with being at the club longer and as an asset these players become more important for us.

“Cammy is someone who has done really well since coming over to Scotland to play, he’s an infectious character to desperate to learn and do better and improve. I think in his time here that’s shown by getting into his international squad and the next step for him is to make in-roads and perform consistently for us and for Australia.

“I’ve had a good relationship with Cammy ever since he first came to the club, even though I wasn’t involved with the first-team.

“He is someone who is desperate to learn and not afraid of asking a question or your opinion on things, which is brilliant for me as a coach because he thinks about the game and wants to improve and he’s not naïve or too head strong to think he is perfect at everything, which, again, is something that can only make him better.

Hearts are preparing to take on Kilmarnock in the quarter-final of the League Cup at Rugby Park on Tuesday as they look to make amends for the defeat to St Mirren at the weekend.

And Naismith insists the game is coming at the perfect time to but the 1-0 loss in Paisley behind him.

Speaking to the media on Monday, he said: “It’s good that a game is coming so quickly after the weekend, the game at the weekend was decided by small margins, we didn’t take our chances and inevitably we lost a cheap goal which has cost us from getting anything from the game.

“The cup game coming so quickly is good because it gives us a chance to react to it but the bigger picture is that it is a chance to get to Hampden and takes us one step closer to getting silverware which is something we are desperate to get.”

The former Scotland striker, who returned to his role as head coach last week, bemoaned the slow start against St Mirren and says it’s something they will need to improve on going forward.

He said: “It’s is a frustration, because in some games, like the week before against Aberdeen, we do start well and then we go on to score a goal in the first-half which makes a big difference so the small margins are that if you get that fast start you create chances and get that goal then it changes the dynamic of the game.

“It’s something that we need to get better at and come out and play with no fear and hit games head on.

“Being at a club like Hearts when you don’t win there is always going to be that frustration that builds but I’m comfortable and confident that by the end of this week we can look back at this being a good week and that will start tomorrow night, we need to go out from the first whistle and put on a performance that will get us into the semi-finals of the cup.”

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