St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson praised the Heart of Midlothian board for being patient with head coach Steven Naismith after seeing his side go down 2-1 at home to the Tynecastle Park side.

The Buddies admitted he found it "incredible" that Naismith was facing criticism at the start of the season, so early on in his managerial career.

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"I think Steven has done a fantastic job," he said. "I have to say, credit to the Hearts board because when you stick by people that's what happens.

"Early on in his managerial career people there were giving him stick which I found incredible. He's proved what a good manager he is."

Robinson conceded that it was a poor game of football, not helped by difficult conditions with the wind swirling around the SMiSA Stadium. But depsite the defeat, the Buddies have secured top-six football for the second season running.

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

“We are punching way above our weight in terms of the clubs we are competing with," he said. “Credit to the staff who work tirelessly to drag every bit of energy and quality out of the squad. And to the board who have backed us for the last two years and tried to push the club forward.

“Now our aim is - can we get into Europe? It’s 37 years since we managed that but now we can breathe a bit, relax and play our football.

“We did that against a Hearts side clear in third and had 60 per cent possession. Could we have had a decision? That would have been lovely. But it was a poor game in difficult conditions."