Steven Naismith said "poor defending" cost his Heart of Midlothian side as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Ross County in Dingwall.

The Hearts head coach spoke to the press after the match and discussed his changes, Stephen Kingsely's free-kick being disallowed and the plans for the international break.

READ MORE: Hearts defeat in Dingwall: Defensive struggles, midfield issues, Dhanda watch

Thoughts on the game?

I'm disappointed. What cost us today was poor defending. With how well we've been doing, to defend the way we did gave us a big challenge as the game goes on. Our understanding of how to put them under pressure was good, but we were lacked a wee bit at the final moment. You are looking to score a goal as early as possible to put pressure on. I thought our free kick should have stood, I don't understand why it was chalked off. The fourth official said that the goalie had to look around Shanks to see the ball but he's looking around the wall. Shanks is on the right-hand side of the goalie, the ball goes into the left corner. I think it's a really poor decision.

Still a good record despite the defeat?

It's decent, but today is disappointing because it was a missed opportunity. We could have played better in both boxes, which would have given us a better chance of getting a win. The sign of a good team is that these runs should become normal, so we will use the international break to refresh, get players back and hopefully get back to winning ways.

With the changes in the first half and at half-time were you not happy with how the team were performing?

I thought we lacked a bit of urgency in our press. It was coming from a couple of their players drifting into positions that were causing us problems, so I simplified it a bit. It got us a body further forward and we pressed a bit better. For most of the game, they had two or three chances that came from our poor defending, but after we tweaked it we dominated the game and did everything but score but we lacked a wee bit of cutting edge in the final third.

Would you have fancied getting something from the game if one of the VAR decisions stood?

When the free kick goes in, there are 15 minutes to go so I'm confident we score another goal. I thought that was a poor decision and the [non] penalty was a poor decision. It wasn't a dive by Shankland. There is no simulation. The defender stretches his leg out to block the ball and Shanks goes over. I thought the ref was naive to show a card. I think he could have let the game go, don't think it was a foul no one looked for a foul. The free kick was a big moment, we kept plodding along. We could have got better, but our defending is what cost us.

READ MORE: What Don Cowie said about Yan Dhanda's performance against Hearts

What's the plans for the international break?

We've got 10 or 11 players away, which is more than we've previously had. Some boys are just back on the pitch that will need a bit of work, Barrie McKay, Scott Fraser, Yutaro [Oda], and then we've got others who could do with a rest and some who could do with a game. We have a game arranged for the middle of the week, some will play 90 minutes, some will play some minutes and some won't play at all and then it's about recharging for the next block of games.