Boss: Naismith Back To His Best
Martinez says forward is replicating the form he had at Rangers.
Roberto Martinez says Steven Naismith is now showing the form which made the striker such a hit north of the border.
Prior to his Goodison Park switch two summers ago, Naismith had bagged a total of 68 goals across spells with Kilmarnock and Rangers.
However, he could only muster four goals during his debut year in England and back in September Martinez said the 27-year-old needed to rediscover the ‘arrogance’ and ‘belief’ he displayed whilst operating in the Scottish Premier League.
“I don’t really think Steven has been himself since he arrived at Everton,” said Martinez after the striker had fired Everton to a 1-0 home victory over Chelsea.
“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.”
Now the Blues boss feels Naismith has rediscovered that swagger in the final third.
The Scotland international was named man of the match at Craven Cottage on Sunday after his seventh goal of the campaign put the gloss on a 3-1 victory over relegation-threatened Fulham.
And Martinez says his half-time substitute was the difference between Everton earning three points rather than one.
“I think it is fair to say that in the last three months he has become the player I saw coming through at Kilmarnock and Rangers,” Martinez said in the aftermath of Sunday's win.
“When you arrive at a new football club and a new league you need time to adapt.
“Stevie is an incredible professional and you can rely on him in any circumstance.
“Today [Sunday] I thought the threat that he had in the final third was the reason why we won the game.”
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