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Steven Naismith hails battling Hearts after win on ‘rubbish’ Livingston pitch

Steven Naismith praised in-form Hearts for overcoming a “rubbish” pitch at the Tony Macaroni Arena to tighten their grip on third place in the cinch Premiership with a 2-1 away win over Livingston.

The Jambos boss was braced for a scrap on the Lions’ artificial surface, and he was encouraged to see his team come out on the right side of it after second-half goals from Kenneth Vargas and top scorer Lawrence Shankland – who saw a penalty saved by Jack Hamilton at 0-0 – secured an eighth win in 11 cinch Premiership matches.

The victory took Hearts five points clear of fourth-placed Kilmarnock with a game in hand heading into the winter break.

“The pitch was rubbish, so I’m really pleased with the performance

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