In their hour of need, Steven Naismith revived Hearts once again.
The forward appeared from the bench on the 66th minute when the Jambos were trailing Aberdeen 1-0. By the 69th minute he had Hearts on level terms. On the 75th minute, he started the attack that led to their second goal.
Naismith’s appearance changed the complexion of the Aberdeen v Hearts clash. His substitution revitalised Craig Levein’s side, but it couldn’t inspire them to victory, as they eventually went down 3-2.
It was an inspirational performance from the Scotland international regardless.
Hearts hero Naismith stunned everyone inside Pittodrie
Hearts fans were obviously excited to see their talisman return to action after months out with injury. Nobody could have predicted how much he’d change this game.
Everything about his game was exceptional. Naismith’s goal was brilliant, using his experience to meet a cross with a diving header. It was expertly finished by the 32-year-old.
Levein’s men received a massive confidence boost when Naismith entered the fray. The Jambos attacks had more purpose with Naismith leading them. Meanwhile, the Dons were trying to work out how to deal with the forward.
His role in the second goal was of the utmost importance. His composed pass set the wheels in motion for Jamie Walker’s first league goal of the season.
It was simple things he was doing exceptionally. When Aaron Hickey was red carded, Naismith was straight over to talk to the young full-back. It was a captain-like contribution from him.
They may not have won in the end, but Hearts wouldn’t have got back into the game if it weren’t for Naismith. They have to keep him fit this season, as Hearts look like a different team with Naismith involved.
His return has to be managed carefully, this was his first club appearance since February after all. If Naismith can keep fit though, he’ll be the man Hearts turn to at every corner this season.