The King Power Stadium

Next Game

Leicester v Everton

Saturday, 16 August 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Naismith keen to grasp chance

Steven Naismith is looking to kick-start his Everton career after 12 months of frustration following his goal against Chelsea.

Last Updated: 15/09/13 at 13:53 Post Comment

Steven Naismith celebrates his goal against Chelsea

Steven Naismith celebrates his goal against Chelsea

Forward Steven Naismith is looking to kick-start his Everton career after 12 months of frustration.

The Scotland international scored the match-winning goal to beat Chelsea 1-0, which got the Roberto Martinez era properly under way after three successive draws.

And while things may be new for the Spanish manager, who succeeded long-time boss David Moyes this summer, Naismith also feels he is facing a fresh challenge.

Despite making 35 appearances, scoring four goals, in his maiden campaign last season following a move from Rangers, he did not really find his form.

However, the arrival of Martinez has given the whole squad a boost and, although competition for places is now tougher after the new manager's restructuring, Naismith is keen to make his mark.

Injury to Steven Pienaar allowed the Scot to make his first league start since scoring in the 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge on the final day of last season, and he knows he has to work hard to keep his place.

"Last season was my first season back from a knee injury, which takes time, plus it was my first season back at a new club which takes time," he told Press Association Sport.

"At previous clubs I've taken time to settle so hopefully this can be the start.

"It was unfortunate for Steven Pienaar to be injured but it opened up the door for me to get my chance and hopefully I can carry that on and get selected again.

"You have to earn your place. When you come to a club like Everton and you are competing for European football, you expect the quality to be high and for there to be competition for places.

"I am up for the fight and I wouldn't have come here if I wasn't.

"I'm glad to be part of this squad and I hope to be able to contribute more."

The victory over Chelsea possibly owed more to the resilient style of Moyes than it did to the possession play of Martinez.

Jose Mourinho's side created the majority of the chances but crucially for Everton they took theirs.

Leon Osman's cross to the far post was nodded back by Nikica Jelavic and Naismith bundled home a header from close range.

The closest they came to scoring after that was Leighton Baines' 90th-minute free-kick which crashed against the angle of post and crossbar.

"We feel we can compete against any team we come up against and we have shown that in the first few games where we've played really well without getting the results we wanted," added Naismith.

"It has been a big change from the previous manager in terms of the style we are playing and that will take a bit of getting used to but we have shown we can carry out what he wants and cause trouble to the best of them.

"It gives you a bit more freedom because the manager wants you to go and express yourself going forward."

What also helps the Everton forwards is the knowledge they have an experienced England international in Gareth Barry, who made his debut after joining on loan from Manchester City.

The 32-year-old was excellent throughout, reading the game brilliantly and producing one perfectly-timed block to prevent Samuel Eto'o rolling the ball into an empty net after goalkeeper Tim Howard's attempts to pass sideways out of his six-yard area succeeded in only picking out Chelsea's Andre Schurrle.

"Barry was brilliant. He brought experience and calmness in the middle of the park, which is one of the hardest things to do," said Naismith.

"When you are under pressure he takes the pressure off.

"When we win possession back it is those first couple of crucial passes which he is excellent at: he'll put someone through and we're in behind their midfield and on their back four.

"He also gives guys like Ross Barkley the freedom to go and play and do what he does best in the final third."

Manager Roberto Martinez believes Barry is the best Englishman in the business in that role.

"I have been a big admirer of Gareth over the years," said the Spaniard.

"He is very unique as that profile of midfielder doesn't exist in English football.

"You get a lot of foreign players coming in and playing that role very well but Gareth senses danger, he gives you great composure, is full of good decisions and establishes good relationships all over the park.

"He is a pristine professional who works extremely well and I think he will be an incredible influence to James McCarthy and Ross Barkley."


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

worry about these types of conclusions on a teams brilliance when it was very clear that Argentina had 4 chances where they really should have scored and on chances alone then it would have been the more pragmatic Argentinians who would be the best in the world. I like the Germany team but this just shows that even with planning it relies on a great deal of luck and finding your opponents at just the right time.

dryice
Reward At Last For Years Of Careful Planning

W

e all know the British public don't have the patience to plan for 14 years. No chance. As soon as our young players don't win the world cup they get harrassed and abused to the point of mental breakdown. No, England likes to react to failure by sacking the manager and tearing up their best laid plans in favour of something shiny and new to keep the knee jerkers happy.

HarryBoulton
Reward At Last For Years Of Careful Planning

G

lad Messi was player of the tournament, there was no-one more deserving. Except Robben. And James Rodriguez. Or Muller and half the Germany team etc etc

sailingmagpie
Golden Ball award for Messi

Footer 365

Transfer news: Stoke boss Mark Hughes still wants Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi

Stoke boss Mark Hughes is still hoping to agree a deal to sign Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi on a permanent basis.

Transfer news: QPR and Rio Ferdinand are expected to agree a deal imminently

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is expected to reach a deal to join Premier League new-boys QPR on Tuesday.

World Cup: Terry Butcher says there is no doubt Germany had best squad in Brazil

Former England captain Terry Butcher says Germany deserve their status as World Cup winners.

Mail Box

Are Germany Now Going To Dominate?

We have your World Cup final reactions - some were wowed and others think it was all an anti-climax. We have lots of thoughts on Lionel Messi too. Has he flopped?

Alexis Sanchez: Really Not THAT Good

The backlash has begun: Why are Barca letting him go if he's any good? We have mails on Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez, the World Cup and the wonder of F365...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property