Steven Naismith needs to take his chance for Norwich City against former club Everton

Everton players, including Steven Naismith ahead of his move to Norwich City, celebrate their penalt

Everton players, including Steven Naismith ahead of his move to Norwich City, celebrate their penalty shootout victory over Norwich in the Capital One Cup fourth round last season. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Among the players hoping for a chance to impress Norwich boss Alex Neil tonight is ex-Everton favourite Steven Naismith.

Neil has spoken recently about the need for the Scotland forward to improve his performances if he is to get back into the game, having not even been among the substitutes in City's last three matches.

It is a very different situation to when the 30-year-old arrived from Everton for around £8m in January, with Toffees fans raving about his efforts for their club during his four years, scoring 25 goals in 121 games.

'Steven Naismith's fine, I've not had any issues with Steven Naismith, people make more of things then what they actually are,' Neil said.

'The reality's pretty boring so nobody really wants to talk about that so what they want to do is make out some sort of fallout but the bottom line is last week we've picked up nine points and the lads have played really well.

'Steven unfortunately wasn't involved in that but he's been in all of the squads so, he might be involved in the next one and it's up to him to go and play as well as he can to go and put himself into my mind for the team.'

Neil comes up against former Barcelona defender Ronald Koeman tonight, after the 53-year-old made the switch from Southampton in the summer, and is a fan of the Dutchman's work during his time in England.

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'I think some people go searching for profiles and some people just crack on with their job,' he added. 'I think Ronald is understated, he just goes about his business in his manner, and he's done really, really well so credit to him.'