Hearts hero Naysmith hails fans

Roma coach Rudi Garcia insists he wants to keep midfielder

Daniele De Rossi at the club.

De Rossi has been linked with a move away from the Stadio

Olimpico with Chelsea reportedly keen on the 29-year-old Italy

international.

But when asked about the star’s future, Garcia told reporters:

“He is a great player and surely it’s better to have him with us

than to see him leave.”

Garcia appeared more relaxed about the future of Pablo Osvaldo

and Marquinhos, adding: “They are still with us, we would like to

keep the best players. But if they were to leave, we will replace

them.

One player who will be joining Roma is goalkeeper Lukasz

Skorupski after the 22-year-old passed a medical and signed a

contract with the Serie A side on Friday.

Skorupski has played over 50 games in the Polish Ekstraklasa for

Gornik Zabrze, gaining himself a reputation as a solid and

promising goalkeeper.

And Naysmith knows such support will be vital as the team battle

against the odds this season.

Naysmith played the last 10 minutes of Hearts’ 2-1 win at East

End Park on Saturday as a trialist after joining former team-mate

Gary Locke’s side for pre-season training.

The former Scotland left-back helped Hearts end a 36-year major

trophy drought by winning the Scottish Cup in 1998 before departing

for Everton in a big-money move two years later, and his

introduction sparked a standing ovation from more than 3,000 Hearts

fans.

With administration-hit Hearts starting the season 15 points

adrift of their top-flight rivals and with a first team featuring

just three players aged over 21, Naysmith knows they will need

similar support throughout the season.

Naysmith, who made his Hearts debut aged 17, said: “It’s not

something I had thought about, but it just shows you that they

never forget you, the Hearts fans.

“I was quite touched with the reception I got, it was a surprise

and something I really appreciated.

“We knew there was going to be a big crowd, but the noise they

made and how they got behind the team, that’s going to be vitally

important this year.

“It’s important that with such a young team, the fans stick with

them.

“We are hoping there are not going to be many, but there will be

some days where things aren’t going to go according to plan, and

it’s important to stay together.

“That’s where the fans need to stay with the young lads and keep

behind them, because it’s difficult, young lads are being asked to

do seasoned professionals’ jobs.

“But they are technically very good and have grown up together,

so that can work in their favour.”

The 34-year-old, who was released by Aberdeen in May, cannot

sign for Hearts because of their registration embargo but he could

be set to look for a new club.

“In my own mind I want to make sure I can do a pre-season,” he

said. “It’s gone well so far, two weeks in.”