'Success and change will have to go hand in hand'

Brian McLauchlin, BBC Sport Scotland

With hopes of another extended run of European games now firmly in the past it’s now time for everyone at Tynecastle to spark an upturn on the domestic front.

Steven Naismith has been handed the role of head coach and the task of ensuring come next May the club are again in a position of strength and that the minimum requirement of a place in Europe has been achieved.

A manager/head coach is measured on results, but for that to happen fairly there has to be a reality check with the players at his disposal.

Not only to play the style of football the head coach desires but more importantly deliver the results he requires to be a success.

There are players at Tynecastle who, because of their lack of game time, may see their futures elsewhere. But leaving a club like Hearts for any player is far from easy.

Not only because the club are one of the highest payers in terms of salary outside the Old Firm, but the bond between players and supporters tends to become difficult to split from.

The next few months will be key for Naismith and those in authority at Hearts. This may well be a time of change but as we know football fans aren't known for their patience, so success and alterations will have to go hand in hand.

With four points from their opening four matches there is little wriggle room in the upcoming weeks.

Aberdeen visit Tynecastle on Saturday before visits to Paisley and Dingwall in the league before the end of the month.

Sandwich in between a midweek League Cup trip to Kilmarnock and it’s easy to see why the rest of this month may play an important part in how the campaign develops.