Naismith: There’s real competition for Scotland places

first_imgSteven Naismith has said there’s tough competition for places in the Scotland team to face Slovenia and the Canada friendly is the perfect testing ground.The Scotland player was speaking as the national team prepared for a must-win World Cup qualifier on Sunday against the Slovenes with a friendly at Easter Road against the Canadians on Wednesday night.Manager Gordon Strachan has named four new faces in his squad, which includes team regular Naismith, an attacking midfielder who now plays at English Championship side Norwich.Celtic attacking midfielder Stuart Armstrong, Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney, Leeds defender Liam Cooper and Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser have all been added to the squad. “That’s what it is for players who have just come in and have maybe not had much game time for the manager recently.“And, again, for the players that have been playing, it’s for them to say ‘I should be in the team for Sunday’.“Obviously some of the results in the campaign haven’t been what we wanted so I don’t think anybody is sitting here saying ‘I am playing on Sunday, I know I’m in the team because I have been good enough’.” Naismith says the new players’ hunger to show their worth and the regulars’ determination to keep their places means everyone is pushing to stake a claim.“The new guys in the squad, if they play, they will see it as an opportunity to say ‘I’m here to stay’,” Naismith told the Official Scotland Podcast.“Guys like myself, who have not played many games recently for the national team, I’ve got to make sure the manager sees that I’m still worthy of being in the squad.“It goes back to competition for places, if you’re not performing you are not going to be in this squad eventually.last_img

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