Steven Naismith admits that the Hearts’ next three games will largely determine whether he is considered for a full-time head coach.
The 36-year-old former Jambos skipper was handed over the reins for the remainder of the season last month following the sacking of Robbie Neilson.
Hearts, who are five points behind Aberdeen for third place in the Premier League, have picked up four points from four games under Naismith, whose team ends the campaign at home against the Dons and city rivals Hibernian on both sides. from a trip to the Rangers next Wednesday.
“Without a shadow of a doubt,” Naismith said when asked if he expects the remaining matches to influence what the Hearts board decides to do next.
“All this time the club has been asking me to take the team until the end of the season and then we will review the situation at the end of the season.
“We are halfway there and the next three games will no doubt affect what happens.
“It can be related not only to the results, but also to our performances, the way we play, the way we play. There are many aspects to what decision the club will make.
“It has been a brilliant experience for me so far. I enjoyed every minute and I think I’ve done a good job so far.”
Asked if he wanted to continue the role, Naismith, who has been the manager of the Hearts B team since he hung up his shoes, replied: “II’ll probably decide at the end of the season.
“It was great, I liked it, there weren’t many negatives at all. But I have always said that the decision has to be right for me about when I become a manager and where it will be. I try not to get too carried away anyway.
“There has been no talk of anything other than this season and I’m fine with that.”
Naismith expressed concern over continued problems with the implementation of VAR in Scottish football after Hearts midfielder Peter Haring received a red card in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against St Mirren, having been demoted to a yellow on appeal this week.
The interim manager remains baffled that VAR did not ask referee David Dickinson to consider the Austrian’s Mark O’Hara challenge at a time when the Hearts were down 2-1.
“The biggest disappointment for me is that our last two games were affected by VAR and in both cases I feel like they were wrong,” Naismith said.
“In the first week (when Alex Cochrane was sent off against Celtic after being deemed to have denied a goal) he stepped in and made the call and the decision was made.
“And then the total lack of consistency last week (that VAR didn’t intervene). I was right before the decision on Saturday and I could see that it was not a red card.
“The fourth official was next to me, the referee was in the game and the assistant referee was on the edge of the field, and everyone saw the incident perfectly.
“They all missed it and the decision was made. But then we have fault tolerance (VAR), which hopefully makes all those important decisions right, and its failure is also very disappointing.
“It makes people not believe in it. Before this happened, we knew there would be teething issues, but it seems to have been that way all season, which is disappointing.”