Naismith reveals Scotland frustration

Norwich City's Scotland international Steven Naismith.
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City's Scotland international Steven Naismith. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Steven Naismith has revealed the frustrations he suffers when not playing for his country.

The 30-year-old Scot was left out by manager Gordon Strachan for the ill-fated trip to Slovakia in October, at a time when he was also left out of the Norwich City side.

Naismith, an unused sub in the loss to England at Wembley, said: 'It has been frustrating because I still feel I can do a job, as any player does. But when your club situation isn't good and you're not playing much you can't complain.

'That's what happened against Slovakia.

'A big squad was named and everyone spoke about how they wanted to play. But we also talked about how if you weren't going to be stripped you'd an option to travel or stay home.

'The manager was open and frank with everyone. Most said if you're not involved there would be no judgment on your commitment whatever you did. That's unwavering for this squad. That's probably the best thing – everyone turns up at the start wanting to do their best.

'But if you don't need to travel abroad I think it's better for most of the squad not to.

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'It was the first time I had experienced that with Scotland and I won't lie and say it was easy.

'Being an experienced player and one of the most capped in the squad then to not travel is a hard feeling to describe.

'There was a wee bit of embarrassment, a wee bit of 'am I good enough?'.

'I wasn't saying I wasn't good enough but it was just a tough situation to be in.

'That's just human nature in that situation.

'It's not a nice feeling but I'd rather that than be raging out there in the stand.

'The manager has always been good with me. He's said he wanted me in the squad because he feels I've got a big part to play around it.

'But he'll also be honest and tell me if I'm not playing.

Naismith, along with City team-mate Russell Martin, is in the Scotland squad for the upcoming friendly against Canada and the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia. Scotland are fifth in the six-team Group F with four points from four games. The Canada friendly will act as a warm-up for the crunch Hampden showdown with Slovenia a week on Sunday.