Norwich City midfielder Steven Naismith buoyed by Scots’ World Cup success

Norwich City duo Russell Martin and Steven Naismith were part of the Scotland side that beat Sloveni

Norwich City duo Russell Martin and Steven Naismith were part of the Scotland side that beat Slovenia. Picture: Tim Goode/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Steven Naismith will return to Norwich City buoyed by Scotland's World Cup revival.

Naismith and Russell Martin were part of the Scots' last-gasp 1-0 qualifying win over Slovenia on Sunday, which kept alive their hopes of reaching Russia in 2018.

Gordon Strachan's men have bitter rivals England, Malta and Slovakia still to play at Hampden Park and the 30-year-old is not ruling out a late surge after moving within two points of second-placed Slovakia.

'The home games will be crucial, we need the atmosphere we used to get at home games,' he said. 'I know we played Ireland in the last campaign at Celtic Park, but that atmosphere is what we need. We need teams to come here and think: 'Wow, we're in a game here.' Going forward, this is what we need and that will give us the best opportunity. We'll go into the games believing that we can win.

'We dominated but it's a game we'd expect to dominate. It's a win. We've played better, but it's what we needed to do and we'll move on now.

'The pressure was on and, to be fair, in the first-half we looked confident. That's one thing this squad has got. There's no superstars, but there are guys who believe in what they do. As they have got older, they have understood that if we miss a chance and there is ten minutes to go, just keep doing the right things and you will get more chances. That showed in the latter stages against Slovenia.'

Naismith, speaking to the Scotsman, still carries the scars from a near miss in qualifying for Euro2016.

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'The last campaign for me was the biggest one I've been involved with in terms of being close and everyone half-starting to think, 'We're going to make it,'' he said. 'It slipped through our fingers, but we know we are still in this. There are big games coming at home and those are games we need to capitalise on.

'The victory should take away that bit of nervousness which surrounded the camp from when we met up and after the Canada game. It relieves a bit of that and the boys still believe. We've always believed.'

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