Heart of Midlothian head coach Steven Naismith believes allowing referees to communicate on the field for everyone to hear would help provide a better understanding of decisions, as happens in rugby.

Speaking ahead of the Premiership encounter with Livingston at Tynecastle Park on Wednesday evening, the Hearts boss had not changed his mind over the penalty decision from Sunday's 2-1 loss at Rangers. John Beaton penalised Peter Haring for pulling Connor Goldson's shirt following a VAR review. James Tavernier netted a late equaliser from the spot before Danilo's stoppage-time winner. Naismith felt the Ibrox side had benefited from blocking.

He revealed he had spoken specifically about the use of blocking during set pieces ahead of the season in meetings with officials and what would happen.

"At the start of the season it was a big thing," Naismith said. "I understand how it all happens in games. The phase of blocking someone or doing x, y and z at a corner happens. It’s a phase, it comes back in years to come. I highlighted it in the meeting with the referees at the start of the season, with an example of a goal we lost. I said if these types of things happen what is the outcome? They said VAR will look at it and VAR will check it. It didn’t happen, as simple as that.

"You see it more and more now, is it worth going on about it because it doesn’t change anything? It’s not going to change one week to the other either. The change will be at the winter break or the summer for next season."

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Naismith, who is pro-VAR, played down the need for a former player to be part of the VAR team, noting his "opinion on a foul on a forward is different to a defender". He would rather see VAR stripped back and, if possible, decisions being communicated by the referee.

"It’s the inconsistency week to week," he said. "We’re seeing the same things all the time. Similar instances and months later the decisions on the pitch are different. That’s the problem.

"I think you can look at other sports like rugby and you’ve got to use everything. You can’t stop the referee refereeing the game. The bottom line is to make the right decision and who cares who makes it. Whether it’s a fourth official, an assistant or the ref or VAR. Get the right decision and move on.

"That’s my opinion, I don’t know how you get there. But the way it is now you’re talking about it all the time - Scotland games, English Premier League, our league, all the time.

"[Referee communication] gives people an understanding. Referees have got battered after every game, like players and coaches. They get battered by social media because people don’t understand. Someone grabs an angle and says that’s a disgrace because of x, y and z. But if they’ve heard it what they thought might be the same as the ref. But why would they put themselves in that position when they know they’re going to get battered. I think it would help."

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Meanwhile, Naismith noted the importance of a quick start against Livingston in front of the home crowd following two consecutive defeats in the league. 

"The game can go one of two ways and if we are slow and it is a slow start to the game then the atmosphere and the dynamic within the stadium changes," he said. "But if we start fast and we are playing in their half then we give the crowd something to be confident about. That’s really important.

"I have mentioned it a lot since I’ve been taking the team and I think it is such a big part of things, the demands at this club, they don’t come much greater other than probably the Old Firm. When you are on the back of two league defeats the mindset is: ‘This better be good or we’re not going to be happy’ and that is simply a fact.

"Again, I have been there as a player and I understand it so you’ve got to prepare as a squad. You can’t just say it one day and the next day it will be a case of ‘ah, no problem, we’re fine’ and suddenly you’re able to deal with it. It is a process and you have to understand there is a pressure there and figure out how to deal with it."

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