Baker: Pompey team-mate is unstoppable on his day

Kal Naismith celebrates his goal against Grimsby Picture: Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith celebrates his goal against Grimsby Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Pompey player Eoin Hand, right

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Carl Baker is convinced Kal Naismith possesses the potency to become an ‘unstoppable’ talent in Pompey’s side.

The rejuvenated winger struck a sublime free-kick to hand Paul Cook’s side a late victory at Grimsby on Saturday.

Kal’s got more confidence than probably any player I have ever played with and I fancied him to put it into the top corner to be honest

Carl Baker

It was a fourth goal of the season for a player who started the campaign on the transfer list with no Fratton Park future.

But Naismith has forced his way back into the manager’s plans and recently been a key presence entering games from the bench.

The Scot hasn’t started a league match since defeat against Doncaster at the start of October.

Baker, though, is convinced the left-sided player can wreak havoc in League Two this season – providing consistency can be uncovered.

He said: ‘Kal is unstoppable and unplayable on his day.

‘You see him in training and some of the stuff he does is phenomenal. You stand there in awe thinking “why don’t you do this all the time?”

‘Obviously, it is not as easy as that, he has his ups and his downs like all of us, but he is a fantastic player and a great lad.

‘Kal’s got more confidence than probably any player I have ever played with and I fancied him to put it into the top corner, to be honest.

‘I have seen him do it in training quite a lot.

‘He would have definitely fancied himself to do it as well, so fair play to the lad. It’s a great strike, he has that in his locker.

‘Hopefully, this will do him the world of good, give him even more confidence than he already has and help get himself into the team to keep producing those moments for us.’

Naismith’s Pompey goals tend to be special moments.

In August there was a spectacular free-kick from long range in the EFL Cup at Coventry City.

Then there was a long-range strike to snatch victory at the death against Bristol Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Also last month was the ferocious angled right-foot finish to seal an impressive victory at Luton.

Now Naismith has added Blundell Park to that list of outstanding goals.

And Baker is impressed with his team-mate’s impact.

He added: ‘It is nice to see Kal on the pitch and able to show everybody else what he can produce.

‘It’s the same with Michael Smith over the last few weeks, who had scored three in three before Saturday.

‘The manager realises when lads are on a high and playing well – and knows that is the time to get the best out of them.

‘Whether Kal comes off the bench or starts the games, it is all about the team, not individuals, and the lads are absolutely buzzing for him.

‘The lads to a man played well at Grimsby on Saturday, as did Conor Chaplin and Noel Hunt who also came off the bench. It wasn’t only Kal.’