Lawrence Shankland's Hearts heroics deserve EVERY award as Steven Naismith insists it's 'not even close'

Steven Naismith thinks Lawrence Shankland should win EVERY award after a stellar season.

The Hearts striker has been nominated for the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award, but Naismith thinks he should be taking the Scottish Football Writers Association gong home as well. The Tynecastle top scorer scooped a double at the club awards last weekend with the PFA version up next. Celtic's Matt O'Riley and Rangers duo Jack Butland and James Tavernier are also in the running. But the Hearts boss said: "I'm not sure it's close, if I'm honest. I think he's been the best player, I think he should win it, I expect him to win it, I expect him to win the media award as well."

Shankland has been the subject of intense transfer speculation this season, but Naismith insisted he is still planning for his talisman being at Tynecastle next term. "Yes, we're in control of the situation," he stressed. "He's got a year left and that's how we'll focus on it.

"Every player at the club, at some point they will leave, they might get bought or their contract might run down. We need to plan for further ahead all the time, that's the way we work. We need to be a club that's producing players, buying players, progressing them and selling them on, I think every club in Scotland is the same. But ultimately it needs to be right for Hearts. If we think we can do something to keep a player here, we will and if we think it's the right time to move them on, they will move on."

Naismith isn't on the shortlist for the manager award. That is between Derek McInnes, Tony Docherty and Jon McGlynn. But the Hearts boss is just happy to be in the dugout and learning lots after a first season in the top job.

"To be fair, I think this season has been really good for managers who have done really well," he said. "John McGlynn has had an incredible achievement at Falkirk and Stephen Robinson, Tony Docherty and Derek McInnes have all been brilliant as well.

"For me, in my first year leading a team, the time and the commitment all these guys give me is invaluable. I'm just privileged to be in a position where you get some contact time with these guys.

"I think we've had a really good season. Obviously the first few months when you're a new manager, you're there to be hit and be pressured. People want to see if you can stand up to the scrutiny as well as putting on performances and getting results, and we've done that.

"We've got a really good group of players and staff, and the club has grown and is ambitious to progress. We're in a really good moment."