Heart of Midlothian fans will have to wait just a little longer before they can start digging out their passports in preparation for a European tour next season after Steven Naismith's side were held to a goalless draw at Rugby Park on Saturday.

The visitors travelled to Ayrshire knowing that a win would wrap up third and confirm European group-stage football next term but despite creating a litany of chances, they were unable to make that all-important breakthrough as Kilmarnock held on for a 0-0 draw.

Cammy Devlin caught the eye against Derek McInnes' side and the energetic Aussie spoke to the press after the match to discuss the team's performance, closing the gap with the Old Firm, and the prospect of at least eight European games on the horizon.

Here's everything he had to say.

READ MORE: Steven Naismith provides Beni Baningime injury update after Killie draw - Q&A

Another step closer to Europe?

Yeah, it’s another step towards our target. We said after the game that that was probably one of our more controlled and better performances against a good side on a tough pitch. The first half felt pretty comfortable to be honest. We were moving them around, getting into spaces and getting in behind them. We hit the crossbar twice in 45 minutes and had some other good chances. I felt like it was a decent game – we just missed that last touch, that last pass. But we are a point closer and we move on.

Did you think your shot was going in?

Any chance, eh? When Granty cut it back I kind of took it off Beni’s feet but he probably wouldn’t have shot anyway! They didn’t really press me and I saw the back stick, so I just thought I’d try my luck. I thought it was dropping a little bit, but it’s better that I’m getting in those positions and making those runs. Fingers crossed with more of them and a bit of repetition they’ll start going in.

How do you view this season for yourself?

It’s been up and down. Personally I thought I started by playing probably the best football I’ve ever played since I’ve been at the club. I feel like I was consistently in the team, injury-free and I just felt really good. I felt really free. Then I came out the team for a couple of weeks and got injured here [Rugby Park]. I was out for three-and-a-half months, so that disrupts you completely. The boys have done really well and we have got a great side with lots of competition for places all over the park. I feel like recently, the past few weeks since I’ve come back from injury, I was on the bench for a bit but now I am playing and I am feeling really confident. I feel like I’ve been playing well so now it’s about finishing the season strong. My attitude is to play every single game and get as many minutes as I can. I am super hungry to do well and working hard on my game, so fingers crossed I can finish the season strong.

It seemed like you were getting forward a lot more than usual today, is that something the manager has asked you to do?

Yeah, he asked me to do that specifically against Kilmarnock. When their centre-backs come out we can occupy the space in behind them. It’s important that if our strikers come to the ball and their centre-backs go with them, then we can get into that space in behind. On Saturday it was me and Granty in that No.8/No.10 role to use that space. Especially in the first half, you could see if Kye [Rowles] had the ball on the opposite side then the space was really there. I made that run three or four times. I said to Shanks after the game that there was that one where I knocked it down for him and it was going in but the shot got blocked. And I had one that hit the bar. There were a lot of chances that were very close but obviously not close enough. But yeah, the talk during the week was that there was going to be space in behind and our midfielders and attackers would have to exploit that. I feel like we did that really well to be honest.

With the squad in a good place and at least £5million coming in from Europe next season, what do you think the immediate future could be for Hearts?

I think the goal for Hearts every year is to get European group-stage football. We achieved that in my first season here and it felt like success. We got to a cup final and unfortunately lost, but it felt good. And then last year we fell short. The money speaks for itself – it’s a lot of money for the club – but it’s about us performing and delivering that. When you’re at a club like Hearts, I feel that should be the minimum; to be finishing as high as you possibly can. We are close to that as we are a point off it now. Unfortunately we couldn’t win against Kilmarnock but I feel we have a really strong and close-knit group of boys. The staff have been working hard. They have changed a lot of things and individually we’ve had to work a lot differently in terms of your movements and the way you do things. But it’s come to fruition now and I feel we’re in a spot in the table that shows that. It’s just about finishing that off – and hopefully next year again we can go to another level.

READ MORE: Instant analysis: Hearts made to wait, Devlin gets forward, Lembikisa battle

You must be desperate to get back to the group stages? You enjoyed it last time?

Firstly, the experiences – us as players, the club as a whole and obviously the fans. I can just imagine those away days and being in the crowd. I had a few of my mates in Florence and they just had the best time. I can imagine that would be so good, getting to go away with your mates and watch your team play. As a player, getting to play at these cool stadiums – PAOK, Fiorentina – it was just such a good experience. Winning away in Riga – for Hearts, winning away in Europe is such a good achievement. But I feel like we want to make the European group-stage thing what we kind of expect year-to-year. Obviously that isn’t easy because it’s a really tough league. You come to places like this [Rugby Park] on Saturday, play really well and still don’t win. Winning these sorts of games will make it a lot easier for us. I’m desperate to get back to the group stages because it’s such a great experience and a great way to perform.

Is there a sense of unfinished business in that sense because there have been some tough results in Europe?

They’re good teams, aren’t they? You’re playing against Fiorentina and I’m sure they went on to make the final. And they’re still in it this year. So you’re coming against massive, massive teams but those are the games where you want to test yourself. Games against the Old Firm and European ones are the games you want to play in as a footballer. There’s a big crowd and a great atmosphere, and it’s a great place to go and perform with your mates. So I am just desperate to get back there and hopefully we can go a lot better. We still have to wrap this up because it’s close but it’s not done. When we get back there, it’s different to the Scottish games and you have got to adapt. Having that busy schedule is just class, man.

Can the European money take you closer to the Old Firm?

I think it’s so important for the club to bring that money in. It brings so much in terms of players. And playing in Europe is going to attract people too. The fans get in amongst it. It’s so unfortunate that we’ve been to Hampden twice this year and lost to Rangers both times. Obviously last week we lost 2-0 but I felt on the pitch that it was close and we played well. It’s about getting as close as we can and working as hard as we can every single day. We go out with a game plan to win every single game and it doesn’t matter who it’s against. If we can do that then brilliant. But they are massive football clubs, aren’t they? It’s about getting as close as we can and I feel we are on the right track.

And you beat Celtic home and away this season?

That’s what I mean. It’s just about doing that as much as we can as a football club. We are a massive club so I feel like going and challenging these guys is something we should be doing.

Are there any stadiums or cities you would like to tick off the bucket list this season?

I want to get there first! We are really close. I remember watching the draw with the boys in my first season and it was so cool. That was my first experience of it so to do that again would just be unreal. Hopefully we go somewhere with nice weather – I’m sure the fans will agree with me on that!