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Naismith calls for supporter unity
Published : 10 Sep 2010 19:30:56
Steven Naismith has hit back at Scotland's snipers by claiming too much criticism is aimed at the national team.
The Rangers forward has been shocked by the abuse levelled at the players in the wake of their last-gasp win over Liechtenstein, which saw them fight back from behind and snatch the points in the 97th minute. And Naismith insists the only way Scotland will qualify for a major tournament again is if the whole nation throws their backing behind the team.
Naismith said: "To be honest, since the two games, I can't believe the amount of negativity about the whole situation. We are sitting top of a group with one win and a draw."
He added: "We didn't have a good performance at home in the last game but we won it. Somebody has always got something bad to say.
"It's been so long since we've been to a major tournament, that I feel as though everybody should start pushing in the one direction and try to get the feelgood factor back into Scottish football.
"As a kid, I remember France 98. That was probably my biggest memory - just how good everybody felt in the country going to watch the games and being right up for everything.
"But every time there is an international, there is always criticism from everywhere.
"To be honest, most of the boys just expect it now. But if we want to get to these major tournaments, I think everybody just needs to look more to the positives."
Boss Craig Levein reportedly singled out James McFadden and Kris Boyd for criticism in the dressing room midweek, while Boyd was also the subject of a scathing newspaper column by former Rangers striker Mark Hateley.
But Naismith believes picking on individuals is unfair, insisting: "The only person, I would say, who has the right to pick out individuals is the manager. Going through life, people don't like other people and they don't like the way they play and they are always going to have a bad opinion of them no matter how well they do. I think it's unfair of people to start picking on individuals."