Injured Naismith stayed on to assist Pompey promotion party
INJURY wasn't going to stop Kal Naismith from carrying on in Pompey's biggest game of the season.
The Scot picked up a knock on his ankle in the first half at Meadow Lane and appeared to point towards the Blues’ bench asking to be substituted.
But Naismith carried on through the pain, as he was desperate to savour the moment and help Pompey make history by sealing promotion into League One.
The 25-year-old forward played a pivotal role in the Blues’ 3-1 victory at Notts County.
His clever trickery inside the box forced a foul from ex-Pompey man Richard Duffy.
The referee had an easy decision to point to the penalty spot and Gareth Evans calmly sent County goalkeeper Adam Collin the wrong way.
In the second half, with the score at 1-1, Naismith picked out Jamal Lowe in space, who curled his effort beyond the reach of Collin.
The ex-Rangers man said: ‘At one stage, I had in my head I was going to have to go off.
‘I was angry and gutted I would maybe have to go off.
‘It got to half-time and I got ice on it and adrenalin got me through.
‘It was definitely a penalty.
‘I’ve gone past him and he hung his leg out.
‘I was so focused on the ball. I didn’t know his leg was there until I hit him.
‘It was a good start for us but they came back and got the goal.
‘It was a horrible game but nobody will remember the game, will they?’
Pompey host Cambridge United on Saturday with promotion in the bag with three games to go.
Fratton Park will no doubt be ready to host a fantastic party.
But Naismith insists the Blues won’t be taking their foot off the gas.
The players will aim to crown the occasion with another strong performance to keep their fine form going.
He added: ‘Saturday will be special.
‘Every game in the run-in will be special with the celebrations and, hopefully, we can put in a few decent performances.
‘Regardless of what happens, the fans’ will be in full voice and will be a party from now on.
‘Us players will never go into a game thinking “we’re up, we don’t need to win”.
‘Every single game you want to win.
‘If we finish second, happy days. If we don’t, I don’t really care.’
– Will Rooney