Steven Naismith has to raise his game at Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Steven Naismith has to impress Alex Neil to force his way back into Norwich City's Championship promotion push.
The Scottish international was omitted from the matchday squads for the home wins over Cardiff and Wigan after a proposed deadline day transfer move to Sunderland fell through.
Neil insists his compatriot can still play a major role in the Canaries bid to return to the Premier League this season, despite kicking his heels since the 3-0 defeat at Birmingham.
'Play well. It really is as simple as that,' he said. 'The bottom line is Steven gets treated the same as any other player. No different. If he produces the goods and plays really well then he will have a big part to play for us. If I don't think he is playing as well as he should or whatever the case may be then obviously I have to put out what I deem to be the best 18 for us to win the game. I have never known a manager not pick what he deems his best team. I wouldn't single out one performance (At Birmingham). There were some leading up to that and last year. I wouldn't just label that at Steven, it goes right across the board. We would be looking for better performances from a number of players.'
Naismith has been joined on the sidelines recently by former Liverpool Sergi Canos.
'I have already explained the situation. I have a good squad of players, probably 20 available players to pick from and two of those have to be left out on any given weekend,' said Neil. 'Josh Murphy came on and had a real impact against Cardiff City and scored what turned out to be the winning goal. Alex Pritchard has had an influence in his games. when he has come on, so they need to do more to get ahead of these guys.'