Steven Naismith insists Robert Snodgrass’s intriguing response to being shown the door at Hearts is not a distraction amid their search for form.
After taking over as interim boss last week following the departure of Robbie Neilson and his assistant Lee McCulloch, Naismith told former Scotland team-mate Snodgrass that his Tynecastle career was up.
Snodgrass, 35, took to social media to tell the Hearts fans he was “gutted and disappointed” to leave the Gorgie club and promised some revelations in due course.
Hearts have lost six games in a row in all competition and have slipped back to fourth place in the cinch Premiership, five points behind Aberdeen, but Naismith insists all the focus is on beating bottom side Ross County on Saturday.
“The only time it has been mentioned is right here, right now,” said the former Rangers, Everton and Hearts striker, who revealed Michael Smith is “probably going to be out for weeks” with a hamstring problem picked up early in last weekend’s defeat by Hibernian.
“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.”
Snodgrass suggested that perhaps all was not well within the Tynecastle dressing room by saying: “I was emotionally attached and determined for us to kick on. The previous six weeks had been a real challenge for us all. But that’s when a team sticks together, digs in and fights for the guy next to you.”
Naismith insists there is unity at the Edinburgh club.
He said: “Since I took over, there is a togetherness; the club, the players, the squad.
“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 per cent 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.”
With six league fixtures remaining, Naismith insists the focus will be on attacking football.
The Scotland assistant coach said: “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.
“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.
Smith pulled up early against Hibs and Naismith, who is glad to see Josh Ginnelly back in training after a niggle, said: “Mikey Smith is probably going to be out for weeks.
“We have had a scan. A lot of it depends on the player and the recovery. There is not a specific timeline on when he will be back.”