Hearts will continue to put their own fans first before thinking about visiting supporters, insists Steven Naismith.

The Tynecastle club's decision to cut the ticket allocations of each team in the Premiership, minus Hibernian, has come under scrutiny again with the visit of Celtic approaching this weekend.

Like Hibs, both Celtic and Rangers used to get the entirety of the Roseburn Stand behind the goal in Gorgie. This changed in recent years though, and they are now afforded less than half.

Naismith is looking forward to seeing how his team does against Brendan Rodgers' champions. The former Rangers and Scotland striker is hopeful a packed-out Tynecastle crowd can roar Hearts onto a famous victory.

"We will first look at our fans," he said. "If we have built a following that is continuing to grow, we need to give them the opportunity to watch hopefully a successful Hearts team. The question is not individually to each club, it's about the collective: Are you willing to make a change to better Scottish football?

"We could learn a lot from other leagues but we tend not to. It tends to be individual agendas. When I was at Rangers, there was congestion of fixtures when we got to the UEFA Cup final. This season, every team struggled through the start with Europe but the league don't help you. That's not the league's fault, it's everybody in Scottish football's fault.

"Whether it's been what happened at Covid, how you just stop leagues and teams are just relegated. In every aspect, there are areas we could do better. Do we want to or do we not?

"The back and forth between fans when a goal is scored, the elation and the anger among the fans, it does bring something. At this moment in time, with the structure as it is, it isn't going to change. That's why we, as a club, need to look after Hearts.

"Whatever the solution may be, everybody needs to be willing to make that sacrifice to get it better. Over 20 years I've been involved, it doesn't seem to happen.

"I don't think the difference in numbers helps overly. The derbies are a prime example. That gives it an unbelievable atmosphere. But then, there will be more said about the viewing platform for away fans at a lot of ground. Being papped in corners, can't see for pillars and stuff like that. There is a bigger argument."

READ MORE: Steven Naismith provides Hearts injury update ahead of Celtic clash

On the large number of fans Hibs are permitted at Tynecastle, the head coach added: "There is an understanding there that it does create a much better atmosphere and the intensity is there. The spectacle is a better thing. Nobody can say that just having home fans is good for the game. It's not. But until everybody accepts that and comes to a collective, it won't change."

The international break has been a productive period for the Jambos. Craig Halkett and Craig Gordon have stepped up their recoveries from long-term injury, while Kenneth Vargas was among the goals when in action for Costa Rice. 

Naismith said: "The international break on a whole has been really good for the boys who were away but injury-wise Cochrane and Yutaro came back into the squad and they trained all week. They are part of the squad.

"Halkett has come back into the squad and he’s done bits of training. As a coach that’s the first time you really go: ‘There is light at the end of the tunnel.’ Now we can start thinking bigger term. Finlay’s the same, Craig played in the game and got 45 minutes so he’s progression. So on that front it’s been really good.

"Halks is a leader. He’s the loudest on the training pitch and that’s been noticeable. And he’s got real qualities. But I’ve been there myself and that first week back is easy. It’s just being on the grass and you get the buzz. It’s when you’re three weeks in and toiling, he will go through that phase like everybody does. It’s important that he’s back on the grass.

"It’s big but on top of that we’ve got Atkinson, McKay coming back and some of the boys have not played loads of minutes so we will definitely get games because we need to. The amount of injuries we have had we could fill a team with guys who could be doing with a game."