Naismith: Nothing can beat Pompey win over Cheltenham
FOR Kal Naismith, one game stands out above all others '“ Cheltenham.
The Scot netted twice in the 6-1 final-day hammering of the Robins to clinch the League Two title in May 2017.
And it represents the favourite match of a three-year and 94-game Fratton Park spell which has now ended upon his release.
Naismith said: ‘I loved the last game of that season.
‘A lot of my family had come down to watch me for the first time that season, some for the first time in my whole career.
‘We played really well, the atmosphere was incredible, I managed to get two goals and we were crowned champions.
‘A lot of Pompey fans have told me that was their best moment. Well, it was an absolute pleasure to be part of it, an amazing day for us.
‘I hit really good form at that time which was pivotal for us getting us promoted, but so many good players around me also hit form and it allowed me to go and express myself.
‘I was playing the best I’ve ever played in my career. I’ve had better games and performed better on the pitch, but in terms of goals, assists and playing under the pressure to keep winning and winning and winning, that’s the best time of my career.
‘I remember Crewe and in anything in life you always need that moment, that failure to put you down there to bring you up. That defeat was probably the best thing that happened to us.
‘Paul Cook got the best out of me, it’s hard to know how, he will probably know that better than me.
‘It was him getting the best out of me, me getting the best out of myself, Michael Doyle helped me a lot, Gary Roberts was a big personality, I had a lot of help.
‘And I had that sense of freedom. The manager put his trust in me and the players all trusted me.
‘Even if I wasn’t featuring in a game for 50 or 60 minutes, they trusted me to come up with something.’
And Naismith is candid about his displays in League One this season.
He added: ‘This season I didn’t perform well enough in games when I had to. I’m disappointed with myself for that, but, hey, that’s football.
‘Even being in the final months and weeks of my contract, I always went out and gave everything for the manager and the club.
‘I can say my performances weren’t always the best or as good as last year, I will take that on the chin.
‘But I don’t think it was a bad year for me. I just didn’t reach the heights I reached last year.’