New Town signing Naismith happy to play wherever for the Hatters

Kal Naismith in action on his debut for the Hatters against BournemouthKal Naismith in action on his debut for the Hatters against Bournemouth
Kal Naismith in action on his debut for the Hatters against Bournemouth
Former Wigan doesn't have a favoured role to play

Luton’s versatile new acquisition Kal Naismith is happy to play wherever he is asked to by Hatters boss Nathan Jones.

When the 28-year-old moved to Kenilworth Road last week on a free transfer following his exit from Wigan Athletic, Jones described his latest addition as being cope in a number of positions, including left wing, wide right, up front, left-back and left centre-half.

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Naismith went on to make his Town debut as left wing back at Bournemouth on Saturday, replacing Tom Lockyer who went off due a head injury, with Dan Potts moving inside as one of three centre halves.

On whether he had a preferred role, Naismith said: “To be honest I’ve not and that probably doesn’t help the manager, or maybe it does, but I’ve not got a position that’s my favourite.

“Growing up in my whole career until probably about two years ago, I always played attacking midfield just off the right or central or left and that was kind of all I knew really.

“Then I got the opportunity to play left back in the Championship, played maybe 15 games there and really, really enjoyed it.

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“Then I went to left centre half and played maybe 20 games there and I loved it, so it’s literally like there isn’t one position I think ‘I don’t really enjoy it here.’

“I enjoy all the positions, so I’m just grateful to get on the pitch and try to help the lads when I can.

“Whenever the manager needs me, it’s his job to pick a team and whichever place he wants me to go and try to help the team, that’s what it’s all about, trying to help the team get a good result.”

With Naismith signed to replace full back Rhys Norrington-Davies who returned to Sheffield United last Monday and then headed out to Stoke City, Jones will look to initially use him in a more defensive role.

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He added: “When we first came up against Kal, he scored against us from a left wing position.

“He played up-front for Portsmouth when they got promoted, he went to Wigan and played in the forward positions, then got promoted again.

“I watched him a lot last year due to geography more than anything but obviously keeping an eye on the level.

“He played a lot at centre-half and a lot at left-back and was excellent.

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"My initial reaction when I first saw him play centre-half was ‘I’m not sure he is a centre-half’ and then he changes your mind.

“It is very good to have that versatility, he scored goals from right-wing last year and he was excellent in that position.

"In Wigan’s run towards the end of the season, he was fantastic in a forward position, so we know we have that available to us.

“He also reminds me of my first-team coach Chris Cohen because Chris could do anything, literally could do anything in any position.

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"If you had a pair of gloves, he could have done it in goal quite comfortably but when I played with him, he was our best left-back and I was playing left-back at the time.

"Best left-back, best centre-half, best midfield player, best frontman, to be honest with you probably better than the groundsman we had and Kal reminds me a bit of that."

Naismith got an early chance than expected to showcase his defensive skills at the weekend when replacing Tom Lockyer midway through the first half against Bournemouth, as the centre half couldn't recover from a nasty head injury which saw midfielder Jefferson Lerma sent off.

He came on at left wing back, with Dan Potts moving inside to partner Sonny Bradley and Glen Rea.

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Despite not having played since Boxing Day and training by himself prior to the move to Luton, the former Scotland youth international still put in a solid display as the visitors ran out shock 1-0 winners.

Naismith added: "I got on earlier than expected, but you’ve got to be ready.

"I was training on my own for maybe three weeks and when you’re training on your own, you’re just saying to yourself 'you need to be ready for that opportunity in case it does come quickly,' and it came quickly.

"It was a bit of a test on the legs and the lungs, but the lads managed to get me through it and it was a great result.

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“It was tough, but the lads were brilliant, the lads helped me through it and Pottsy next to me was superb.

"The whole team was great, the lads were on it and it was a great team performance, so it was easy for me to fit in really.

“Even when they go to 10 men they’ve got quality all over the pitch and with the ball they’re still an unbelievable team, so regardless of the man sent off, it was great to keep a clean sheet there."