'There is a duty for Hearts to maintain high performance levels'

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With Hearts having almost secured a third-place finish in the Premiership, it would be easy for everyone to sit back and relax.

However there will be a demand from both Steven Naismith and the club's fans to end the campaign on a positive note.

When you throw in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers looming on the horizon, there is a duty for Hearts to maintain the levels of performance that have brought them this far.

With a number of players entering the final year of their current deals in the summer, and others whose contracts are set to expire, this can be a key part of campaign.

Managers elsewhere are always on the lookout for new recruits, while a good end to this season could mean the difference between a new contract being offered or not.

Having covered Hearts for over 25 years, Tynecastle has always been a place players find difficult to leave.

Even as recently as last weekend, former goalkeeper Gilles Rousset was back at Tynecastle rekindling memories of his six years at the club with the highlight undoubtedly being the cup win over Rangers at Hampden in 1998.

Nowadays it’s rare for players to remain at clubs for that length of time but nevertheless any player who walks into the dressing room is instantly made aware of how special a place it can be.

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