Ball is in Norwich City’s court admits Steven Naismith over his future

PUBLISHED: 06:00 03 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:14 03 March 2018

Steven Naismith is looking for a strong finish to the season on loan at Hearts. Picture: Paul Chesterton

Steven Naismith is looking for a strong finish to the season on loan at Hearts. Picture: Paul Chesterton

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Steven Naismith admits his Norwich City future is up in the air but the on-loan Hearts midfielder has plenty to play for during the rest of this season.

Steven Naismith in action for Hearts at Rangers. Picture: PASteven Naismith in action for Hearts at Rangers. Picture: PA

Naismith bids for a place in the Scottish FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday, when Hearts travel to Motherwell, while Alex McLeish’s return to the international set-up is a boost to his bid to get back in the Scotland squad.

The 31-year-old is under contract at Carrow Road until 2019, but has failed to make any lasting impact since a big-money move from Everton.

Naismith made it clear during the January transfer window he needed to get away from the Canaries in a quest for regular first team football.

“It is tricky at the moment, with me having another year left after this one at Norwich, and they’ll have a big part in what happens with me.

“But, so far I’ve enjoyed every minute of being at Hearts,” he said.

“Every older professional has told me I should play as long as possible, because the day will come when you can’t do it any more. That’s unique to this job in many ways.

“A footballer’s career is shorter and I definitely have the drive.

“First of all, we are still in the Scottish Cup and, as you get to the later rounds, it’s definitely up for grabs for any team who are still involved.

“Fortunately I have managed to win it once (with Rangers) and it would be really nice to finish the season with something like that.

“Also, in the league we need to keep pushing as hard as we can.

“The expectations and demands are high at a club like Hearts, and in the majority of Premiership game you need to go in fancying yourselves as the dominant team.”

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Naismith scored his first goal of an injury-hit season in midweek as he looks to impress new national boss McLeish, who awarded him the first of his 45 caps.

“We are not far away from making a tournament and he might have the extra ingredient to get us there,” Naismith told the Herald.

“His record in his previous time with Scotland was great and if he can get back to that then it will be terrific.

“For me, I just need to work hard and if I’m doing well then I’ll be in with a chance of getting picked.

“It’s as simple as that. I’m not naive enough to think, ‘I’ll make the next squad, it’ll be easy’.

“It’s not easy, you need to prove your worth and earn it, and that’s what I want to do.”

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