Boss Urges Naismith Self-Belief
Martinez wants the striker to 'be himself' on the pitch.
Roberto Martinez believes the key to Steven Naismith finding his best form is self-belief.
The Scotland international endured a frustrating first season at Goodison Park and was restricted to only 13 league starts after joining the club on the back of a cruciate ligament injury that forced him to miss the majority of the 2011/12 campaign.
But Naismith was handed his first start of the season in Steven Pienaar’s absence against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea and he repaid the faith shown in him by the manager as he headed the winner.
Martinez said: “I think Steven’s had it very hard since he arrived at the club but I don’t really think he’s been himself.
“I saw Stevie play a lot for Kilmarnock and for Rangers and I haven’t seen that arrogance in the final third, I’ve never seen that belief or that desire. Everything has to be safe, everything has to be a bit forceful.”
The 27-year-old delivered an assured performance for the Blues days after receiving praise from national team manager Gordon Strachan for his role as a lone striker during the win in Macedonia.
Martinez now wants the forward to follow up his promising performances and start to express himself on the pitch.
“The way he works for the team he deserves to lose the ball by trying to be himself. I want Steven to do that,” insisted Martinez.
“I want him to forget about the past, I want him to forget that he’s at Everton, I want him to feel that he’s on the park enjoying his football and showing his quality because when he does that he’s a very effective footballer.
“On his birthday, he couldn’t have had a more fitting present than scoring the winner.”