Heart of Midlothian head into the international break following a 2-1 defeat to Ross County - just their second loss in 17 games.

Steven Naismith's men were undone by "poor defending" and a decision from referee Grant Irvine to rule out Stephen Kingsely's free-kick due to interference from Lawrence Shankland that frustrated the Hearts head coach.

Ten of the current squad will head out on international duty. The first-team players that remain are set to get some days off during the period but after a bounce game that has been arranged for the coming week.

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"We've got 10 players away, which is more than we've previously had," Naismith said. "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."

Naismith also expressed his hope that he will "get players back" ahead of the Kilmarnock match at Tynecastle Park after the break. Derek McInnes' men reduced the gap in third to 11 points with a 5-2 win over St Mirren.

It is hoped that both Frankie Kent and Calem Nieuwenhof are back in contention. Naismith said ahead of the trip to Dingwall that the "expectation" is that they will be available for the Killie clash.