Winger’s Pompey recall is bittersweet

Kal Naismith   Picture: Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith Picture: Joe Pepler
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Kal Naismith refused to blame the conditions as Pompey stuttered at Morecambe.

And the Blues winger admitted he could take little comfort from his return to the starting XI after his side were hit by a late, late body blow at the Globe Arena.

He said: ‘It’s good to be back but obviously it would have been better to get the win. It’s tough to be upbeat when the goal goes in like that.

Kal Naismith

Paul Cook’s side saw their hopes of picking up three crucial points crushed by goalkeeper Barry Roche heading home in the 94th minute in the 1-1 draw.

It was a bizarre and painful way to be denied victory after the long trip to the north west.

Huge gusts and a heavy pitch made it tough for Pompey to employ their usual passing game against the Shrimps.

Naismith wasn’t ready to forward that as a reason for his side being denied, however.

He said: ‘It’s hard, very hard to take.

‘We knew it was going to be a hard night.

‘We looked like we were going to see it out.

‘The conditions weren’t great, but it was the same for both of us so it’s no excuse.

‘I was feeling my way into the game like the rest of the lads.

‘But it was the same for both teams.

‘It was windy and we went up against it in the first half.

‘They had it in the second and it was difficult conditions.

‘I thought we were handling it quite well and it was a team performance in the first half.

‘In the second half we could have been better, we know that.

‘The gaffer told us to work the conditions out because we needed the three points.

‘It’s a bit sore because we had it up until the last moment of the match.’

Naismith was a surprise inclusion in the Blues side as Paul Cook’s men made four changes from the weekend FA Cup clash with Bournemouth.

The Scottish talent came into the team along with Adam Webster, Gareth Evans and new signing Michael Smith.

The 23-year’s surging run provided the opener for Evans five minutes before the break.

It was his first start for Cook’s side since October after four loan appearances at Hartlepool.

Naismith was pleased to be back out on the pitch for Pompey again – but the manner of the painful leveller meant he couldn’t take too many positives.

‘It’s good to be back but obviously it would have been better to get the win,’ he said.

‘It’s tough to be upbeat when the goal goes in like that.

‘But we have ability in our dressing room and we have the players to turn things around.

‘There’s a few times we’ve been in winning positions.

‘We’ve been unlucky at times as well.

‘We’ve got a great squad. There are 19 games to go and we have to pick ourselves up and go again.’