Heart of Midlothian head coach Steven Naismith was delighted with his side's ability to battle for three points in the 2-1 win at St Mirren.

The Hearts boss spoke to the press afterward about the success, the away form and gave an update on Stephen Kingsley and Lawrence Shankland.

READ MORE: Hearts break 32-year record at St Mirren as one player stands out in 2-1 win

Happy to have dug that one out?

Yeah. I said that to the squad after the game. I think this is probably the stereotypical game Hearts have been questioned in over the years. Can you deal with the fight? Add to that that St Mirren are going for the top six so when we take the lead, we know that they were going to go gung-ho. They did and brought more attacking players on and we had to deal with it – and I think we did. We did it without three of our most consistent players this season and we did it in terrible conditions that both teams had to play in. So for me it’s a fantastic win.

With the poor conditions, was today just about winning battles and getting the win over the line?

Aye. When you turn up here and you see it with the goal kicks and any long ball, it just gets caught in the wind so the game changes. You need to be aware of that and you can’t overcommit. In the moments where we could bring the ball down, we did. And we had more chances and could have scored. But our game management and our game understanding are the main positives from today.

Who’s claiming the second goal?

I’m not sure, I presume Alex Cochrane. We actually questioned the deliveries of the team in recent weeks and it was good to see that even in tough conditions they were good. They got a goal where they countered on us and we just made the wrong decision. But overall, with the players out, what we asked of some of our younger players, coming to one of the toughest places you can come to and getting our tenth away win of the season – it’s all really positive.

Is it now about keeping it going with the semi-final on the horizon?

Everybody will now look ahead to Livingston but everyone will want to keep their place in the team to play in the semi-final. If you secure third and move on then you can’t coast. If you coast then you will lose your place in the team. I think today showed that we are stretched in certain areas. It was brilliant we managed to do that with a few academy players playing. So there is lots to motivate everybody between now and the summer.

What was wrong with Shankland?

It was just illness. Kingsley was ill at the start of the week, then Beni, and then Shanks was the latest last night. I think there has been comment that we have been over-reliant on Shanks but today some others stepped up at the moment they needed to and saw the opportunity. We were asking more of Al [Forrest] than Kenneth, who naturally plays as a forward. Al gave us that threat in behind. Kenneth used his body and knew he was going to take a few impacts. Both of them did well and played a big part in us getting the win.

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Why was Kingsley brought off at the break?

He was feeling his hamstring a bit. He was feeling it before the game and was close to not playing. It was more a nervy thing than an actual muscle injury but he got through 45 minutes which helped.

Did you change to a back three due to St Mirren's threat?

Yeah, they are a team that want to put the ball in the box and they are happy to commit to the box. If we are a back four, there is more room for 'you go, I'll go' and that uncertainty. I thought we dealt with more of our defending issues really well.

A big target was to improve the away form and that's now 10 away win this season?

Last season was three away wins and I said earlier in the season that is mental to have that stat at Hearts. So, to beat that and get to a more respectable number, 10 is above average and it's a good place to be. We can go away from home and mix the game up when we need to and get points.