Naismith: Snodgrass exit 'definitely not a distraction' for Hearts

Robert Snodgrass tweeted about his disappointment after his contract at Hearts was terminated.

Steven Naismith: Robert Snodgrass exit ‘definitely not a distraction’ SNS Group

Hearts interim manager Steven Naismith has rejected any suggestion the squad has been unsettled by Robert Snodgrass’ departure after the veteran midfielder made it clear he was “gutted” to be released by the club.

Snodgrass’ contract was terminated shortly after manager Robbie Neilson was sacked and Naismith stepped up to take charge of the first team.

The player has now posted on social media detailing his unhappiness about the decision, saying it left him “gutted and disappointed”.

Snodgrass said that the team’s position, fighting for third place after a run of defeats saw the team slip down the table, was one where togetherness was needed and he was sad not to be a part of the challenge. He also said he had received a number of “positive texts” from within the dressing room.

Naismith said that the player’s departure and subsequent comment had not had any noticeable impact on the squad as they prepare for the games ahead.

“The only time it has been mentioned is right here, right now,” the interim manager said. “I don’t think it is a distraction.

“We have moved on, the focus is on the game, trying to get results and that’s where we are at, at the moment, it is definitely not a distraction.

“It is as we were when I spoke to him. He is disappointed but there is not much more to say.

“The decision was made, I spoke to Snoddy, I could tell he was disappointed but we move on, we need to win games, we need to be in the mix and that’s where we are at.”

Referring to Snodgrass’ comments about togetherness, Naismith insisted there was a good atmosphere in the dressing room and everyone was pulling in the same direction.

“Since I took over, there is a togetherness; the club, the players, the squad,” he said.

“I have been there myself. There is a disappointment when there is change because effectively everyone who has been in this dressing room and been around the club have been the ones to contribute to that.

“So change has happened. There has not been one moment when a player has not given me 100% or strived to get better, try to improve, do what we want them to do.

“So I am happy with the squad and the biggest thing now is getting results.”

The first hurdle for the team is a lunchtime kick-off against a Ross County team desperate for points in their battle against relegation.

Naismith believes the best approach is to get on the front foot and says his team will be aiming to put pressure on County whenever they can.

“We need to play with the first thought of we are going forward, we are attacking, we are causing the other teams problems rather than focus on any other team,” he said.

“In my whole time as a player, being an attacking team is more enjoyable than trying to defend games and try to score a goal.

“You need to go and win games now.

“It is not the case that we will go all-out attack but you need to carry a decent threat every time we play.”

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