Town hero Naismith labelled a 'good package' by experienced Hart

Defender earns praise for his ability to play in a number of positions at Luton

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 4:36 pm
Kal Naismith clears the ball during Town's victory over Bournemouth

Luton’s star of the moment Kal Naismith has been labelled a ‘good package’ by first team coach Paul Hart.

The 29-year-old was behind one of the most memorable moments in Town’s recent history on Saturday, bending home a magnificent winner against high-flying Bournemouth with the last kick of the game to send Kenilworth Road into a frenzy.

When asked about the former Rangers and Portsmouth player who marked a year-long stay in Bedfordshire with his stunning strike at the weekend, Hart sad; “With Kal, I always say that he’s a great trainer and he replicates what he does during the week on a Saturday which is the essence of a professional footballer.

"I enjoy his performances, he puts the ball at risk, he’s confident and he’s a great lad.

"He's very popular around the place and I think he’s enjoying his football, especially when he’s in a three (man defence) where you can get someone free now and again.

“He’s a great passer and at one point this season he’s played three positions in one game – left-back, centre-back and midfield.

"He’s a good package.”

When his chance came along on Saturday, there was no rushing Naismith, who controlled the ball on his chest, dummied one and then coolly picked out the bottom corner.

It was of no surprise to boss Nathan Jones, who said: "The boy doesn’t snatch at anything and at times he’s too cool.

"Your heart is in your mouth, but he shows real quality real composure, so excellent."

Naismith himself felt the Hatters deserved the plaudits that came their way for the manner in which they took the game to their then table-topping opponents after being pegged back from 2-0 up at half time to 2-2 with just 12 minutes left.

He added: "You can’t get comfortable in this league, I slip up, great ball from the boy (Jack Stacey) whose got quality, everyone obviously knows that, he’s played here, and then they get back in it with the second goal.

"The team that’s 2-0 down and scores two has usually then got all the momentum and are trying to win the game.

"But I felt when it went to the 85th minute, Henri (Lansbury) came on, few nice touches, got us composed, and it felt like we were then really going for it, trying to get the winner, so I'm just proud of the boys.

“We never played well last week (against Harrogate) but managed to score four goals and win the game, so we were confident coming into the game.

"We trained well, it just shows the preparation that goes into it and the lads probably joke when all the games are cancelled and say to the sports scientist, 'can we not get a day off?'

"It’s not, it’s 'stay on the page,' that’s what they say, 'let’s stay on it, do the right things,' and we always do the right things.

"We did look a bit leggy in the second half, it doesn’t help when they score because then they’ve got all the momentum and we looked a little bit leggy for their goals.

"But then bang, we get that wind again and we never thought, 'right let’s try to see it out, two each against the league leaders,' we thought, ;let’s go try and win it.'"