First team

Naismith previews Fir Park trip

10 November 2023

Steven Naismith expects tomorrow’s cinch Premiership match against Motherwell to be an entertaining encounter between two sides who will be looking to play on the front foot.  


The Jambos travel to Fir Park this Saturday hoping to head into the international break with a victory in Lanarkshire. 


Speaking to the media at the pre-match press conference, Naismith said:


“As a squad in general, we are in a position that in a lot of games we will have more possession than other teams. When you play the Old Firm, they are a more aggressive team and with their quality in the final third, when you make a mistake, it is punished more than in other games.


“That is where we need to be comfortable. The Livingston game is the total opposite. We had a lot of the ball, and we were faced with different challenges.


“Tomorrow will be one of those that at times, we will have the ball, so it is about how quickly we move the ball, and can we get ball in positions that is going to get us chances.


“We want to be that team that is producing that consistency and effectively creating a gap, but right now, after the first round of fixtures, it is very tight. This next round of games are going to be important for most teams in the league." 


The Steelmen have struggled in recent weeks, but Naismith believes they have been unlucky in certain matches and is fully expecting a tough match.


“Motherwell are a team that are trying to build up and be comfortable on the ball," he said. "They carry a threat up top and are quite aggressive with their selections in terms of forwards.


“I have watched them a few times this season and while recently they have conceded some goals, they won’t be happy with, they have always been a threat. I fully expect it to be two teams that are wanting to go out and win the game, rather than not get beat."


Naismith confirmed that Kyosuke Tagawa has returned to the group following a period on the sidelines, however Odel Offiah will be absent from the squad.


“Odel will sit out just now. He has had some medical issues that we want to make sure are sorted so that process will take place.


“Kyosuke Tagawa has come back into the group which is good, and we are now starting to see some of the boys that have been out for a period out on the grass much more which is pleasing as that brings competition.”