Graft means Kal's enjoying his craft with Pompey

KAL NAISMITH pinpointed his training ground graft as the key to resurrecting his Pompey career.

Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 10:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:02 pm
Kal Naismith Picture: Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith Picture: Joe Pepler

And the Scottish winger has told how he made a concerted effort not to rock the boat at Fratton Park after he was transfer-listed.

Paul Cook has heaped praise on Naismith’s attitude after he was told he was up for sale in May.

And it has led to the 24-year-old being welcomed back into the senior fold with the Blues’ first-team squad.

Naismith found himself an unused sub in Saturday’s win at Leyton Orient.

That arrived after three starts on the bounce, however, and involvement in nine consecutive games for Pompey.

It represents a remarkable turnaround for the former Rangers trainee after it looked his Fratton days were numbered.

Naismith’s effort in training has been highlighted by Cook as an example of how his players should conduct themselves.

And continually showing his desire to work in sessions at the club’s Roko base in Hilsea has now had the desired effect.

Naismith said: ‘Yes, things have changed for me now.

‘The manager says your time isn’t done until you are out of the door.

‘It’s a thing of the past (being transfer-listed).

‘It’s done now. I’m back with the rest of the boys and I’m working hard to make sure our form is right.

‘I just wanted to make sure I was as fit as possible. I wanted to be as fit as I could be.

‘I wanted to train as well as I could. I was never going to throw it in or sulk.

‘That’s the minimum. You have to work hard – and I’ve been doing it.’

Naismith was told to train with the club’s youngsters as things looked bleak for his Pompey future.

He explained his attitude was to show his professionalism through a testing period, however.

It’s a stance which has now emphatically paid off.

‘Its business and you know the way it goes if you are not needed,’ said Naismith.

‘If you don’t feature someone else comes in. It’s not personal, it’s just a way of life.

‘So I wasn’t going to feel sorry or hard done by. That’s just the way it goes.

‘I just wanted to keep myself fit and ticking over.

‘As I say, the manager says your time is not over until you are out of the door. I was never out the door.’

Despite the praise which has been coming his way from Pompey’s management team, Naismith has been a critical analyst of his recent performances.

He added: ‘Really, it doesn’t matter about any individual.

‘The most important thing is the team.

‘Personally, though, I always look back at chances, what I could have done or created.

‘They are the things which can change a result.

‘I’ve not done that yet. I’ve not scored a goal.

‘I’ve been thinking about that stuff.

‘I’ve been thinking about what I can add to the team.

‘You need to look at yourself first.’