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Interviews

"WE'VE GOT EVERY CHANCE IF WE PLAY LIKE WE DID AGAINST NORWICH." - KAL NAISMITH ON THE TASK AHEAD AGAINST LEEDS UNITED

18 April 2019

Back in the side against Norwich City on Sunday, midfielder Kal Naismith hopes to gain momentum from the performance ahead of Latics' visit to Elland Road.

  • Latics Listen 34 - Kal Naismith.
  • Returning midfielder relishing prospect of Easter weekend double-header.
  • Naismith looking forward to linking up with left back Antonee Robinson again.

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After returning to the team in the 1-1 draw with Norwich City, Kal Naismith says Latics are well-versed about the challenge in front of them over the course of the final four matches, starting with a big-game atmosphere at Elland Road against Leeds United on Good Friday.

Listen to Kal's interview in full on the latest episode of our podcast, Latics Listen.

"It'll be exciting. It'll be a top game at a great place to play football at Elland Road.

"I've played there before. The atmosphere is electric and blocking that out is part of the battle.

"It's a massive task, but if we stick together and play how we did against Norwich, then we'll definitely be in the game and we'll create our opportunities."

Reflecting on the Norwich game and his return to the team, Naismith continued.

“It’s been a little bit frustrating not to be able to contribute to performances because I’ve not been coming on. I didn’t have chance to impact any games, which for any footballer is frustrating, but the fact that the manager put his faith and trust in me against Norwich was a big thing for me.

“We knew how tough the game was going to be, so I’m very grateful to him for the opportunity.

“They tried to play it out from the back and we took it right to them in terms of pressing them and winning the ball high up the park. All of the lads were right at it.

Naismith was one of four changes for Latics against Norwich, coming into an unfamiliar position for him this season, having filled in at left back for the majority of his appearances in the absence of Antonee Robinson. Now he's back playing in his natural left-sided spot higher up the pitch, the former Portsmouth man has the final four games in his sights.

“I was definitely enjoying playing left back and I felt like I was growing into the role. I felt a lot of my performances were good. One or two were average performances, but for the most part I did well.

“I was happy contributing defensively and offensively because I could help start attacks from the back. I really enjoyed it at left back, but left midfield is where I’ve played for the majority of my career and it’s just that little bit more comfortable.

“To come back in and play there against Norwich was good, getting the ball higher up and being able to take defenders on to create chances for the lads.

“It was good to have Jedi behind me. He was unfortunate to get injured earlier in the season and that’s what gave me the long run in the team, but I always said he would come back stronger because he’s a top player and he’s been excellent since he’s returned.”

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