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Steven Naismith ponders Norwich City exit in January

Steven Naismith is poised to complete a loan move to Hearts. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Steven Naismith is poised to complete a loan move to Hearts. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Steven Naismith admits he may have to leave the Canaries in a search for regular first team football.

Naismith has not featured since August under Daniel Farke but is fit and available for the festive spell following a recent return from an ankle problem in the development squad.

The 31-year-old however is keen to get back into the first team picture after so long on the sidelines, but appears to be currently behind the likes of Alex Pritchard, James Maddison and Wes Hoolahan in the pecking order.

“In the last few weeks, it’s been tough to get back in,” he said, speaking in Glasgow at a Christmas lunch for homeless people he sponsored with the charity, Loaves and Fishes. “Being out for a period of time has made me realise the main thing is playing as many games as you can.

“The new manager (Daniel Farke) came in during the summer and I had a really good pre-season, scoring goals and felt really fit. He made a few signings and had his idea of how he wanted to play and who he wanted to play.

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“I have struggled from after I got my injury and that’s something I will need to look at in January.

“I’ll do as much as I can in the short term to do that, but I don’t think at my age you can afford to have too many months not playing when you are fit and ready to play.

“I do want to come back and play in Scotland and the older I’ve got, the more interest I have in terms of coaching and tactics, and what you should be doing as a player in games.

“If I can do that for some of the young guys coming through in Scotland, then that’s something I want to give back in that respect. But whether that’s in the short term or long term, we need to wait and see.”

Naismith would not rule out an emotional return to Rangers.

“I wouldn’t say I have unfinished business with Rangers because we were successful and won a lot of trophies when I was there,” he said, quoted in the Scotsman.

“Unfortunately, the way I left wasn’t great. I still watch all their games on TV and still speak to all the players and staff I know at the club. “I love hearing how things are going. I still support Rangers and I want them to do well.

“Moving forward, coming back to Scotland there would be clubs I’d prefer to play with. Fortunately, when I come back to Scotland it’s not going to be about finances. “It’ll be about what I think is the right fit for me.

“That’ll be the main thing.

“First of all, you need people at the clubs to want you and you need to see what options are available.

“A return to Rangers would appeal. I’ve spoken in the past about Kilmarnock and Rangers and being appreciative for what they did for me as a player.

“I would look at those clubs and see if they were options to start with.”

“The biggest things for me going to any club would be: ‘Will I play, will I bring something to the club and can I help the youngsters who are there?’

“It’s more what I can bring to the club, if it’s the right fit and whether I believe in what they’re going forwards with.”

For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt on the following channels…

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