Heart of Midlothian will travel to Dingwall to face Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium on Saturday. It will be the final fixture before the international break.

Steven Naismith sat down with the press on Thursday afternoon and discussed the team's away form, the semi-final ticket announcement, Stephen Kingsley's international hopes, Yan Dhanda and more.

Here is everything he had to say...

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What is your reaction to the news that the club will get a 50/50 split for the semi-final tickets?

It’s really good. It’ll be a great atmosphere, a good occasion. Obviously the last semi-final wasn’t that and I think it does have an impact. When you have two of the biggest clubs in the country in a semi-final of probably the biggest cup competition then you would expect it to be 50/50. We’ve shown continuously all season that we carry a good support.

How much of an impact does it make and how does it make an impact?

The whole feeling around it, going out and you can tell it's 50/50 from the visuals, the noise levels and where your fans are situated - because each side of the pitch is better at Hampden than right behind the goal. So just the perception beforehand but ultimately it will be what happens on the pitch.

Does it contribute to the feel-good vibe that is going on at the moment?

Not every club could probably take the allocation. That’s been a big thing for us this season. It’s taken time to get a real understanding from the supporters and us and what we’re trying to do. We are getting there and the appreciation shows. Even Monday night behind the goals at Cappielow, I’ve been to a few games at Morton and it’s the first time I’ve seen that bit rammed. It shows we are in a good place, progressing and that we are a big club.

The away form has been light years away to where it was before, is there one difference or a number of things you can put your finger on?

There’s not one thing. We’ve highlighted the difference between a home game and away game, where certain moments in the game where you need to accept the other team might put balls in the box or might get set plays and be direct. It’s just dealing with that one situation. Deal with it and we will have the ball back in 10 seconds. It’s more about the smaller things. There are a few personnel changes throughout the season but overall it’s probably a mentality thing and trying to make each game the same home and away but also understanding parts of the game you can’t control, you just have to accept it and deal with that. Then the parts you can control make sure you are a threat. Our defensive and away form probably benefited from how good our setup is when we have the ball. We don’t allow teams to counter us and we are then not really reactive which is good.

Are you surprised to see Don [Cowie] go into management?

No. I think it was very clear. He’s similar to myself in terms of enjoying watching football and seeing the game and talking about it. We would regularly do that when we were here as players. We then took a similar path, he has probably got more experience than me. He wanted to get experience coaching and learning before he went into management. And, as with myself, maybe it has come quicker than expected. But he is definitely someone who will be a good coach and manager for a long time. He has a calmness, a good understanding when he is talking to you he is very clear. And he is a top person. His morals and all that part of it goes ahead of everything. And that will rub off on a lot of the players.

READ MORE: How Hearts dodged Morton banana skin: Patience, pressure and attacking centre

How important has patience been this season?

Yeah, it has been. Because of the way games have gone, teams have shown us a bit more respect and draws become good results for teams, so it is going to take time. Monday night was a prime example of that. We knew it was going to be direct, they parts you can't control, they are going to put balls in your box, whether it be throw-ins, corners, set plays, direct play, at times you can’t stop it. You need to deal with that, but when we have it, at the start yes you’re trying to score but as much as that you’re trying to tire the other team out, move them about and constantly ask them to defend and work out solutions to the problems we’re causing them. That takes time. And then as the game opened up we probably had four or five really good chances we should score. And some of our league games have been similar.

Has it been difficult to get the players to have that patience in Scottish football?

It was harder at the start of the season because if you’re not getting results to get that buy-in and the players to say this is good you need to see some progress. What helped through that period was a couple of the games we lost were down to individual mistakes that cost us. It wasn’t the way we were playing. We still dominated in both boxes but we’d lose a poor goal and we maybe wouldn’t finish the endpoint but we would create chances. So that helped. But now, like everything, we are learning every day in everything we do, we’re showing video and having constant meetings, it’s the best way for me to learn. And the strides we have made over the course of the season has been really good.

Fitness will be a key part of that, was that a big focus when you came in during the summer?

I wouldn’t say it was a focus, I had an understanding of how I wanted to work and how I worked throughout my career, where I felt best and what the numbers looked like, effectively. That’s what we have worked to, so we do work really hard. And we’re pushing everybody to the limits. But we’ll be better for it in the long term. But it ties in with the fact we have a good squad, we do play everybody, we have everybody involved because at times like now we have a fair few injuries and that’s an opportunity for others. Some of the injuries have been unlucky from games and tackles and things you can't control, others have come from boys working to their maximum and giving their all and have maybe gone too far. But I’d rather we perform the way we are just now and on that side of it rather than holding back. Fitness has played its part, but it’s an enjoyable fitness, I think.

READ MORE: Why a Hearts pre-contract move for Yan Dhanda makes sense

What's the injury situation?

So it'll probably be the same for Monday. Scott Fraser and Yutaro Oda are potentials to be in the squad but we'll confirm that tomorrow, one way or another.

What is the timeline for Frankie Kent and Calem Nieuwenhof?

We expect Frankie and Calem back during the international break, which then puts them into the first game back. The expectation is we will have them back for then.

Is there still a chance for Stephen Kingsley to get into the Scotland squad?

He's been quoted. There are obviously processes in the background for fitness levels and stuff that you need to provide, and Kingsley's info was asked for. That shows you that he's in the group. The defensive part of the [Scotland] team is arguably one of the strongest now, but what I think it does give is hope. Stephen Kingsley made a squad a year ago or whenever it was and it was a similar squad. It shows that the manager has him in his thoughts and he's been there. He put him on against the Faroes. Stephen will understand it'll be tough, but I would argue he's been one of our best players this season. He's so consistent, his quality and defending are really good and he's got real quality in possession. I think he's enjoying where he sits within our group and he's a great pro. You don't come back from where he was if you are not a great pro. These are all the reasons why we are lucky to have him.

Is Yan Dhanda one you will be paying attention to on Saturday?

They've got a good squad. He's obviously a good player, just back from injury, so we'll wait and see if he features or not.