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Naismith Form No Surprise

Phil Neville insists Naismith's goalscoring form is no surprise.

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Phil Neville insists he was unsurprised by Steven Naismith's blistering treble in Tony Hibbert's testimonial against AEK Athens.

The Everton skipper revealed that the Scottish international had already wowed his new team-mates on the training pitch.

For those that weren't at Goodison Park to witness the 4-1 victory, the best way to sum up the performance of Naismith was that he looked like he had been playing for Everton for years.

Blues fans have been waiting to see whether the partnership of Naismith and Nikica Jelavic bears the same fruit as it did at Rangers, with the pair consistently amongst the goals at Ibrox. But on this occasion it was Scot's the link play with Steven Pienaar that had mouths watering.

Neville told evertontv: "He has fitted in straight away and he's a good lad.

"The other boys like him and he's popular. I think with Steven we have just got to be patient. He has been out of football for a long time.

"However there is obviously a great understanding between him and Jelavic from their time at Rangers and we have seen that in training. He's a goal threat and he offers something different to what we have already.

"I think he fits nicely into the balance of the team, he can play in a number of positions and he looks an Everton player to me."

According to Neville, the acquisition of Naismith, could help reduce the goalscoring burden on Jelavic's shoulders - which could make all the difference if the Croat is to replicate his scintillating form of the final months of the season.

"Both Naismith and Pienaar, who is a massive player for us to have back, have come in and provided competition in the forward places," added Neville. "Goalscoring was a big problem for us up until Jelavic came in and obviously there is big expectation on him.

"But he's going to need help. To think he's going to go on and keep scoring at the rate he did at the back end of last season is going to be a big ask.

"He's going to need support but I think he will get that from the players we have now got. The great thing is that they are good footballers. Pienaar, Naismith and Leon Osman are all similar in style and will make us play better and I think we are in good shape."

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