KAL NAISMITH has become Paul Cook’s talisman and his performances are vitally important to the position we are in.
He was training with the youth team at the beginning of the season, which demonstrates the 25-year-old’s professionalism and desire.
At Hartlepool he produced another cameo display to strengthen Pompey’s hopes of automatic promotion. Kal really can do no wrong at present.
Hartlepool put us under a little bit of pressure and played some decent stuff, but lacked a cutting edge.
Kal had already opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a first-time shot from Enda Stevens’ cross – then he changed the game on the hour mark.
He could quite easily have had a shot after his first was blocked, but instead slipped a pass across from Gary Roberts to make it 2-0.
I looked at the Hartlepool players and, from their body language, you could see it took the stuffing out of them. Goals change games.
Kyle Bennett is also an influential player at present, chipping in with goals, and it has been said the reason for defeat at Stevenage was because both were out injured. Thankfully that absence was for one match only.
Kal’s re-emergence, though, has been fantastic and you can see the belief and confidence oozing through him at present.
He has grown in everyone’s estimation as the season has developed and fair play to him for that.
His game has pace, energy, he is confident on the ball and even had a spell up front at Hartlepool!
The lad has taken it by the horns and keeps putting in the performances.
As a team, without getting too carried away, Pompey have put themselves on target for promotion.
There are still six games remaining so the job is not yet done, complacency has to be kept away, but the boys have hit form at the right time.
The victory at Victoria Park showed that togetherness between the players and supporters. After Crewe there was boos and dissent around the place.
Now, everyone is backing each other.
That must continue – and we must hope there are not too many more injuries.
Carl Baker has a sore hamstring and is not expected to be out for long, while Eoin Doyle and Noel Hunt are longer-term casualties.
You would have thought that would open up opportunities for Conor Chaplin and Nicke Kabamba up front – they could end up being heroes in this promotion push.