Football

Everton manager urges Scotland striker to 'be himself'

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Following his winning goal against Chelsea on Saturday, Roberto Martinez has told Steven Naismith to believe in himself on the pitch.

Naismith is in his second season at Goodison Park and will hope to improve on his debut campaign, having made only 13 league starts and finding the net just four times in all competitions.

Speaking on Everton's official club website, Martinez has urged Naismith to showcase a touch of arrogance, alongside his undoubted hard work, as he bids to produce his best form.

Martinez said: "I think Steven's had it very hard since he arrived at the club but I don't really think he's been himself.

"I saw Stevie play a lot for Kilmarnock and for Rangers and I haven't seen that arrogance in the final third, I've never seen that belief or that desire. Everything has to be safe, everything has to be a bit forceful.

"The way he works for the team he deserves to lose the ball by trying to be himself."

The Scot had received praise from his national team boss, Gordon Strachan, in mid-week following an impressive display as a lone striker against Macedonia but was only included from the start due to the absence of South African schemer Steven Pienaar.

Naismith, who can play centrally or from a wide position, had two reasons to celebrate as Saturday was also his 27th birthday and after this performance Martinez will be wishing it was his birthday every week.

"I want him to forget about the past, I want him to forget that he's at Everton, I want him to feel that he's on the park enjoying his football and showing his quality because when he does that he's a very effective footballer," concluded Martinez.

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Everton
Football
Premier League

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