Beni Baningime was partnered with Macaulay Tait in the Heart of Midlothian midfield on Saturday in the 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock. 

The 25-year-old spoke to the press afterward about the 18-year-old midfielder, provided an update on his future and discussed the potential arrival of James Penrice, Blair Spittal and Yan Dhanda.

Here is everything he said:

READ MORE: Beni Baningime reveals when he will make decision on Hearts future

It was a battle out there, wasn't it?

It was tough. They’re one of the toughest teams to play in this league. They’re aggressive, they have the two big boys up front, it’s a hard game. A draw was maybe a fair result.

What was it like playing alongside Macaulay Tait?

He’s a very good player. The future is very bright for him. He can do whatever he wants to in his career. He’s a great lad. I thought he did well. There will be many, many more days like this for him.

What makes you think he can do whatever he wants in his career?

His ability on the ball is very, very good. He is quite small but he’s very aggressive. He will go into challenges, he is not going to shy away. He’s a great kid, we see it all the time in training. So no one is surprised he is doing well and the gaffer is giving him his chance. For me it is exciting to see him grow and continue to play.

There wasn't any sign of nerves from him, was he like that when he first came into training?

To be fair when I first met him he was 16 and he was quite nervous then! But he would do certain things and I would tell him: ‘You belong here. You just need to believe. This season he has taken his chance and done well and I am happy for him.

READ MORE: Hearts 1-1 Kilmarnock: Clark save stat, finding space, shooting pains

Do you have conversations with him, does he ask you for advice?

It’s not like he asks me questions, I think he knows exactly what he needs to do. I spoke to him before the game and told him: ‘You’re good enough, you deserve to be here.’ I speak to a lot of the boys, I speak to him, I speak to Finlay (Pollock, (Aidan) Denholm. They’re all in my position. Obviously, you’re all competing to play but it’s not like a competition where you don’t want someone else to do well. We’re a great bunch, so I don’t say much, a little bit of encouragement and correction and whatever, and vice versa. Just because he is young it doesn’t mean he can’t help me out. So I’m very happy for him and there’s not a lot of correction there, to be fair.

Do you say to him to block out the crowd?

I block it out all the time. The crowd are brilliant, without fans football is nothing. But when I’m out there they’re not there. I’m on the pitch to be professional, do my job. You’ll make mistakes but so what? That works for me personally. I don’t really have social media so when I play well or even when I don’t I don’t see all that, I am just playing football and trying to enjoy myself having been out for so long. You need to block it out. I have said that to Denholm because at times he gets a little bit agitated and he’s a very good player. I told him: ‘The day you learn to block it out is the day you go to a level that not a lot of people will be able to get to.’ It’s a learning curve. I wasn’t there at 19 and some of these boys are that age now.

Is this the best you've felt since coming back from injury?

100 per cent. I feel great and I've felt great for a long time. I'm just happy for myself and very thankful for the physios, for the gaffer, for everyone at the club helping me come back and to get me back to me best.

READ MORE: Steven Naismith insight on Hearts summer recruitment plans and squad size

With the players coming in in the summer it looks like Hearts are in a very promising position?

The three players that are said to be coming are great players. Playing against them, they are very good players, tidy players and are going to add to us. Hopefully, if we can finish strongly and get third they are going to be a great addition and help push us on for next season and to be even better than this season. All the players have been speaking about it and when I first heard about it I was really impressed.

Would that help with you staying here long term?

100 per cent but ultimately I won't be signing any contract with anyone before the end of the season. We're doing it at the end of the season. I've spoken with my family, there won't be any pre-contract with this team or this team. For me, it's focusing on Hearts and finishing third. Last season we let it slip so we still need to hold onto that and hopefully go on and win the cup if we can. That's basically my aim. But with those players coming in and where the club is going it definitely makes you start to think, 'Okay, I'd want to play with these players' because they are good players.

Barrie McKay returned. He's a big player and you've virtually gone the whole season without him?

Unfortunately for us, no one has seen us play together, Boycie, Halks, Baz. Last season it was me, Boycie and Halks. I don't really believe in luck but if there is a little bit of luck we are going to be a dangerous team and adding all these players that are coming in and just playing together it's going to be great and it was great seeing him and I thought he did very, very well.