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Steven Naismith felt Hearts did everything but find the net as they moved closer to clinching third place in the cinch Premiership with a 0-0 draw against Kilmarnock.

The Jambos struck the woodwork twice in the first half, though found chances after the break limited.

Hearts remain 11 points ahead of Killie with four games of the season remaining.

“I thought our performance today was brilliant, the only thing that was missing was probably a few goals – we did everything but score,” said manager Naismith.

“I say that taking into consideration where we are and who we are playing. It’s one of the toughest places you’ll come to in the season.

“Maybe if it’s September and you haven’t won the game then you are frustrated more than we are at the moment. We’ve ticked a game off and have had a really good performance.”

Naismith’s men showed little signs of a hangover from their disappointing Scottish Cup semi-final loss to Rangers last weekend during what was a confident display.

The Tynecastle boss believes it is a demonstration of the spirit within his squad and encouraged his players to relish the final stages of the campaign.

“We’ve had a good season and today shows the drive and determination we’ve got,” he added.

“It needs to be an exceptional run for Kilmarnock to beat us to third, we could just turn up but we’re not – we’re driven and it’s good signs.

“You want to get to the point where you enjoy this month, very rarely does it happen. Football is so intense and so demanding that you don’t enjoy those moments at the time.

“We’re in a really good place, it has been a good season and we can enjoy this month quite well, then look forward to the challenges of next season.”

Derek McInnes admitted his team were caught by surprise after Hearts changed their system for the trip to Rugby Park.

After making a bright start Killie found themselves on the back foot for long spells, though the introduction of Brad Lyons at half-time helped them limit their opponents in the second half.

The crossbar twice came to the rescue of the home side, though they could have snatched victory in the final minute when Marley Watkins was denied by a fantastic stop from Zander Clark.

“I think the subs helped us, they give us a wee bit of life and a bit more freshness,” McInnes said.

“I thought Hearts were good first half, they changed their shape which threw us a wee bit. We’d worked and spoken about playing against a back four but they went with a back five.

“Their system was causing us problems and our system had to change. It was part of the reason we made a change at half-time.

“I thought about it before half-time which is something a manager never likes to do. We had to stem the flow a wee bit.

“We weren’t at our best but we keep unbeaten, it’s only Rangers that have beaten us in the league since we came back from the winter break.”