Naismith Out To Impress
Scot hoping for chance to shine when Blues travel to Reading.
Steven Naismith hopes he can take a giant step towards rediscovering his best form if asked to stand-in for winger Kevin Mirallas this weekend.
The Scotland international has started just three Premier League games for the Blues this term but came off the bench to replace the injured Belgian in last weekend's 2-1 win over Sunderland.
Despite netting his first Everton goal in last month's Merseyside derby, Naismith still feels he is fighting his way back to full fitness after a cruciate knee ligament injury left him sidelined for nine months.
Following the victory over the Black Cats, Blues boss David Moyes said he felt his compatriot was getting sharper with every passing week, leaving Naismith desperate to prove him right should Mirallas not make Saturday's trip to Reading.
"Hopefully if I can get in the starting team again I can show what I can do," Naismith told evertontv. "I think in the games I have played, be it off the bench or starting, I've at least been in positions to create chances or be on the end of chances. They've not all gone in but it's a work in progress for me personally at the moment."
Despite helping the Blues come from behind to take all three points against Martin O'Neill's side, Naismith was left disappointed by his own individual showing against the Wearsiders.
But, having battled back from serious long-term absences before, the 26-year-old has learned to accept the road to recovery can often be a rocky one.
"It was just an off day for me personally but it was great for us to get the win," he said. "Through that period when you're coming back, you're still getting your match sharpness and your sharpness around the box. It's something I'm constantly working on and I'll try to improve week to week.
"I'm probably less frustrated when things aren't going my way now than I was the first time around when I was injured. I know it's part of coming back.
"Not only that, but moving to a club with so much quality in it, it takes a bit of time to get up to pace and I'd still say I'm going through that period."
As for Saturday's opponents, six points from 10 games has left the Royals 18th in the Barclays Premier League table.
That period has seen Brian McDermott's men suffer just one defeat at home however - and Naismith is wary the Madejski Stadium won't be an easy place to go.
"They showed in the League Cup game against Arsenal (a game which ended in a 7-5 win for the Gunners) that they can play well and be an attacking force," he said. "I think with most teams who get promoted, there's maybe one fixture that kicks them off and we need to make sure that fixture isn't us.
"It's a big game, especially after the wee break for internationals. We want to carry on the good form we've shown so far, so it's a big game but one we're confident about."