'He hasn't told me he wants to leave' - Daniel Farke on Steven Naismith talks
PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:02 22 December 2017
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Daniel Farke is not ready to cut Steven Naismith adrift.
The Scottish international admitted earlier this week he may need to leave next month in the quest for first team football.
“There is no big will from us to see him leave the club,” said Farke. “If he comes with the wish to go on loan and find a new club we don’t say we will not speak about it.
“We will be honest and direct and right now he hasn’t told me he wants to leave.
“I think he appreciates this football club and enjoys being here. Your first choice as a coach is to be selfish and say, ‘I want all the good players together,’ but you also have to keep in mind the competition in his position.
“He has always behaved as a professional and supported the team and our project. If he feels he wants to search for a different challenge we will speak about it. We have had an honest and direct chat in the last few days.
“At his age it is not so easy when you are out. You want to play football. I told him, ‘Listen, I am totally convinced by you but I can’t promise you anything’. He is an experienced guy.”
Farke rejected any suggestion he is under financial pressure to offload one of the best paid players in his squad.
“I don’t pay any attention to the wage bill. That is a topic for Stuart Webber and the most important people in the club,” he said. “I don’t pick my starting line up on what they earn. I don’t want to know what each player earns.
“That is a topic for the sporting director. The players here call me the boss. That is important. I am responsible for each and every decision on the football side. I trust my board and Stuart Webber. They will not put pressure on me, in terms of the finances.
“I read his (Naismith’s) interview and I thought it was professional. If you are successful in football or not as a player sometimes it is about fine margins.
“If I was able to paint a professional footballer he would look like Steven Naismith.
“He has an unbelievable attitude. He is a big leader.
“In pre-season he was in brilliant shape but the problem was he carried over a suspension that meant he missed two games at the start. That meant towards the end of the friendlies you can’t bring him into the line up. We drew at Fulham, won in the cup tie and this meant he had three or four weeks without a game.
“We brought him back in and it coincided with a period we struggled as a team.
“He was not in rhythm and that is quite normal for a guy who had not played for that length of time. After Millwall we decided to change it around. I brought Alex Tettey and Tom Trybull in and decided to support James Maddison in the number 10 position. Then he picked up an injury for nearly three months.”
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