Pompey coach explains Naismith absence

Kal Naismith. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Kal Naismith has been earmarked to play a part in Saturday’s visit of Bournemouth.

The creative midfielder was an unused substitute against Bognor and failed to be included in Tuesday night’s squad at Newport Isle of Wight.

Kenny wants to work with the team this week and Kal featuring against Newport would unhinge that plan

Joe Gallen

However, new boss Kenny Jackett has been highly impressed with the Scot’s talents and has spoken glowingly of his attitude in training.

As a result, it was decided to leave him out of the St George’s Park fixture to prepare for this weekend’s friendly with the Cherries.

Naismith’s ongoing friendly absence has been picked up on by Pompey supporters.

But Joe Gallen is adamant last year’s leading scorer continues to have a massive role to play under the new regime.

Pompey’s assistant manager said: ‘Kal has been training very well and put himself in contention for a starting place on Saturday.

‘He could have done with a game at Newport but Kenny is thinking of using him against Bournemouth.

‘Kenny wants to work with the team this week and Kal featuring against Newport would unhinge that plan.

‘We need to get a good performance on Saturday, with it being our first game at Fratton Park and playing against very good opposition.

‘Kal has impressed me. He didn’t play last Saturday and would have been disappointed but is a very good player who can score, create, win headers and is very confident.’

Fratton Park will stage its first and only friendly of the summer on Saturday when Bournemouth visit.

Naismith will compete with those who started last weekend’s 2-0 success at the Rocks as Jackett’s preferred line up continues to take shape.