This season’s been the best - but I’ll get better

Kal Naismith. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kal Naismith. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kyle Bennett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Bennett: Boss can lead Pompey to back-to-back promotions

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KAL NAISMITH has targeted improvement after setting a career high.

The Scot ranks this season’s achievements at Pompey as the best he’s recorded in the game.

Kal Naismith celebrates Pompey's promotion with Conor Chapli. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kal Naismith celebrates Pompey's promotion with Conor Chapli. Picture: Joe Pepler

But Naismith is raising the bar again as he looks to build on his season of success.

The attacking talent picked up a host of player-of-the-year honours from fans’ groups after a campaign to savour.

The 25-year-old was on the transfer list last summer but turned his fortunes around to become a key part of Pompey’s success.

Naismith finished as top scorer with 15 goals – 11 of those efforts coming since Boxing Day.

He put winning the League Two title at Fratton Park at the head of what’s he achieved in football to date.

That supersedes a debut for Scottish giants Rangers at the age of 20 for the Glasgow-born talent.

Naismith admitted he’s still struggling to comprehend the magnitude of what’s been achieved at Pompey.

But he is now determined to build on his strong form in League One.

Naismith said: ‘I think this is my best achievement.

‘I’ve had proud moments in my career – making my debut for Rangers was brilliant.

‘But getting going down here is the best achievement of my career. It probably won’t sink in until the summer and you realise what we’ve achieved at a big club like this.

‘It’s the first step back for Portsmouth. It hasn’t been very good here for a long time now, so to be a part of the team and the club when it’s taking its first steps back is special.

‘Until we all have a bit of time to reflect on it, I don’t think we’ll think “wow, we’ve achieved something”.

‘I want to have better and better seasons moving forward now.

‘But it’s still quite something what we’ve done.’

The scenes which started on the pitch at Meadow Lane after Pompey won promotion at Notts County have continued through to the end of the season.

There was similar jubilation at Fratton Park on the final day as Cheltenham were emphatically dispatched 6-1.

That day will go down in club folklore as results went the Blues’ way to see them move to the top of the pile in League Two for the first time this season.

The celebrations continued through the night and the next day as thousands congregated on Southsea Common to see Michael Doyle lift the silverware.

Naismith has heard the appreciation of Pompey fans for the achievement and has been humbled by their words.

He said: ‘It’s mental when you’re seeing people and they are thanking you so much.

‘You hear people thanking you from the bottom of their heart and saying “you don’t know what you’ve done for us”.

‘We’re just footballers doing our jobs, but hearing people saying you’ve given them so much joy and they’re so thankful is humbling.

‘I feel like thanking them for their support – we’re just here doing our jobs.

‘To put a smile on so many faces is great, though.’

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