Naismith can be big hit - if his head’s right

Kal Naismith in action against Cambridge United Picture: Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith in action against Cambridge United Picture: Joe Pepler

POMPEY fans have been given a glimpse of what Kal Naismith is capable of producing.

But Paul Cook told the winger he has to improve mentally to fulfil his potential.

The forward made his return to the Blues starting XI against Cambridge United on Saturday.

It was his second start for Cook since returning from a loan spell at Hartlepool.

Naismith has flattered to deceive at times so far in his Pompey career, after arriving from Accrington Stanley last summer.

That led to him being sent out on loan to the Pools to pick up game time, with the 24-year-old on the fringe of Cook’s squad.

Now the attacking talent is back and fighting for minutes on the pitch.

The Scot delivered a positive performance against the U’s, before being withdrawn with a knock after 72 minutes.

Cook felt that display showed his potential – if his head is in the right place.

That was a good game for Kal on Saturday,’ said the manager.

‘We had a glimpse of what we bought.

‘We paid a small fee for Kal and he has all the talent in the world.

‘Mentally, at the minute, he’s not in a place to be a top player. The minute his mentality changes he’ll become a better player.

‘He has to play more and learn more. There’s areas of the pitch he needs to play in more.

‘There are times he needs to play faster and move the ball quicker.

‘He’s got all the attributes to go on and be a good player.’

Pompey now look to build on Saturday’s success as they go to Exeter tonight.

A weekend win at Stevenage ended a run of three defeats in four for the Grecians.

Pompey have put back-to-back league wins together on just three occasions this season.

That has been a major factor in them being nine points off the automatic promotion spots.

Cook added: ‘As a manager, when you look at the league table, we all want a comfort blanket

‘We all want to be 10 points clear and say we’re going to go up. We’re as desperate at the fans to get out of this division.

‘Fans want to see us do well. That’s how football works.

‘The fans have been brilliant for us this season and we’re desperate to give them a few wins now.’