Steven Naismith ready to fight for Alex Neil and the Norwich City cause
- Credit: Steve Adams
Fighting against the threat of Premier League relegation poses no fears for Norwich City's newest recruit Steven Naismith.
The £8million signing from Everton believes he is just the sort of player that Canaries boss Alex Neil can rely on, as he tries to keep his team out of the bottom three.
'I'm looking forward to the challenge. It's something that, as a player, I've always had to do, I've always had to fight for my place and effectively prove people wrong,' the Scotland international stated confidently.
'This is a situation as a club where we are obviously fighting to stay in the league. The last couple of results haven't been great but over the course of the season Norwich have held their own and shown they can compete at this level and I want to be part of a club moving forward from when the manager took over.'
The forward says he is fit to feature against Liverpool this afternoon if selected, despite missing the Toffees last five matches with an ankle knock.
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He is also confident that he can add some fresh attacking impetus to City's repertoire, as Neil's team look to shake off successive defeats, at Stoke and Bournemouth.
'He knows what my attributes are and hopefully I'll bring an attacking threat and hopefully some chances and goals,' Naismith said of his new manager's plans.
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'He wants me to just play like I have done for Everton and obviously he's known me for a long time so I'm confident he knows what I can bring to the team and just go and help Norwich progress, as they have done under him from when he took over.'
The pair know each other well from the early part of Naismith's career with Kilmarnock and Rangers, when Neil was playing for Hamilton.
They were both booked for a minor scuffle after Naismith kicked the ball at Neil as he fell to the ground during an April 2011 clash – showing the mutual tenacity the pair share.
'It's two similar characters, it happened back then and I'm sure it will not happen again,' Naismith said of the incident, with a smile. 'There's only one man who's going to have the final say!
'We never mentioned it, a few of the other boys have mentioned it in the changing room, just asking what happened and I just blame big Laff (Canaries team-mate Kyle Lafferty) for it – he should have tackled him in the first place!
'I think, to be honest, I've got a similar mentality to him, which was definitely a draw for me to come, to work with him and hopefully be successful.'