Naismith happy to answer Pompey striker call

KAL NAISMITH has staked his claim to continue in Pompey's striker role.

Thursday, 6th April 2017, 7:01 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:15 pm
Kal Naismith. Picture: Joe Pepler

The thriving Scotsman is happy to answer the call from Paul Cook to play up top at Yeovil on Saturday.

Naismith revealed playing as a striker is a position he is comfortable with – and a role he’s played throughout his career.

The 25-year-old is in the form of his life as he plays a leading part in the bid to make it to League One this season.

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Naismith was moved to an attacking position in the 2-0 success at Hartlepool last weekend – after Noel Hunt was stretchered off before the break.

That was in preference to using Conor Chaplin and Nicke Kabamba who were both available on the bench at Victoria Park. Cook was mulling over using Naismith to fill the void created by Eoin Doyle’s injury in the build-up to the game.

And the former Rangers man showed he’s more than comfortable in the position as he turned in a man-of-the-match performance.

After 11 goals this term – and 10 in his last 23 outings – Naismith is more than satisfied to continue in the role.

He said: ‘I like it up top. I like it anywhere up there and enjoy being at that end of the pitch.

‘I want to score goals and create goals, so anywhere at that end is where I want to be.

‘I feel comfortable there, so wherever the gaffer wants me to be I’ll do my best.

‘I’ve played up top before and done it for a while at Accrington.

‘So I have done it before and it’s not new to me.

‘I’m not one to be set in a position. I’ve moved around positions in my career.

‘I’ve played left-back, midfield, out wide and up front. I’ve done a spell everywhere.

‘So I wouldn’t say I’ve got one position except, perhaps, playing off the striker.

‘That’s probably where I’m most comfortable – but everyone wants to play there!

‘But I feel comfortable wherever really and am happy to play wherever the gaffer needs me.’

Pompey now have six games remaining as they look to secure promotion.

Cook has been stressing the importance of the parts all of his squad have to play over that period.

The injuries to Doyle and Hunt underlined that sentiment.

Naismith said: ‘Every player is important.

‘The 30 players or so we have at the club are important. The gaffer has been stressing that to us lately.

‘Noel Hunt came into the team at Hartlepool.

‘Then Robbo (Gary Roberts) comes on and scores in the second half. That’s massive for the club.

‘Robbo has been massive for us in the past and will continue to be moving forward.

‘All the players are important but I’ve been playing and contributing and that’s a good feeling.’