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Steven Naismith urges Hearts to kick on after big win over St Mirren

Steven Naismith hopes Hearts’ breathless victory over St Mirren acts as a springboard for the remainder of their campaign.

The Scotland striker marked his return to the starting line-up for the first time since August with the opening goal in a comprehensive 5-2 triumph.

A Sean McLoughlin own goal and efforts from Ollie Bozanic, Jamie Walker and Jake Mulraney completed the victory against the Buddies, who did level twice in the first half through Jon Obika and Danny Mullen.

It was Hearts’ maiden home league win in seven months but Naismith was in no mood to celebrate, claiming a comfortable victory over the side bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership should be the least the Jambos expect.

He said: “This is just the first hurdle. It is a home game, and at the start of the season, if you are looking at this fixture, you would be looking at it and thinking we should win.

“End of story. We have good players and at home that should be the minimum.

“We should be an attacking team and teams should struggle to come here and should be hanging on at times.

“We did that on Saturday, although at times we made it harder than we should have.

“It hasn’t gone to plan this season but that doesn’t mean that we are all suddenly bad players.

“It is about getting the right balance in the team and playing a specific way that suits us and creates chances, as well as keeping us tight at the back. We are a good team.”

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin cut a chastened figure following the defeat, which left the Buddies two points adrift of St Johnstone at the foot of the table.

The Paisley outfit had not conceded more than two goals in a league match all season prior to their visit to Tynecastle but that defensive stability was conspicuous by its absence in a ragged showing.

He rued: “We don’t want to get detached at the bottom but the league’s still tight, there’s only three points in it between us and 10th place.

“Our home form is excellent and we’ve got a few home games coming up so we have to take advantage.

“But we can never have a repeat performance of Saturday. Hopefully, we can beat Ross County in our next game and that will put us in with the rest of the pack.”