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
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
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
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
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
“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.”