Claridge questions lack of playing time for Naismith

Kal Naismith in action against Rotherham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith in action against Rotherham. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Steve Claridge believes Kenny Jackett has been ‘foolish’ to limit Kal Naismith’s opportunities this season.

Speaking to bookmakers Bwin, the former Fratton favourite feels the Scot hasn’t featured much this campaign because the Blues boss doesn’t rate the attacker.

Fratton favourite Steve Claridge

Fratton favourite Steve Claridge

Naismith was a key member of the Pompey side that clinched the League Two title last season and finished as top scorer with 13 league goals.

However, the former Rangers man has been out of favour since Jackett was appointed boss in June, with his last league start coming in the 1-1 draw with Walsall on August 19.

In total. he’s made just 10 appearances in all competitions and missed Saturday’s 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Luton – although that was down to a hamstring injury.

Ex-Blues front man Claridge reckons Jackett should not forget about Naismith, as he might be needed later in the season.

He told Bwin: ‘It’s foolish for a manager to totally forget a player who is under contract, unless their character is very bad and they have a poor attitude, because one day you might need them to deliver for you.

‘The golden rule of being a manager is to treat everybody the same, regardless of personal differences, because it keeps morale high and you can count on him for if and when you find a system that suits the player.

‘I don’t think Kal Naismith will come good this season because I don’t think the manager fancies him.

‘Naismith is one of the three or four players to be sidelined despite their performances last year.

‘I don’t think he’s an out-and-out centre forward either.

‘Football moves on and sometimes you get players who naturally reach their level if the club reaches a higher standard.

‘The fans will back the manager, but if Portsmouth find themselves slipping down the table then fans will demand a change on the pitch and that is where Naismith might come in.’