Steven Naismith happy for lone role

11 October 2013 11:01

Steven Naismith will be happy to take over the demanding lone-striker's role with Scotland that was recently vacated by Kenny Miller.

Gordon Strachan has been looking for a replacement for the 33-year-old veteran Vancouver Whitecaps striker, who quit international football following the friendly defeat against England at Wembley in August.

Naismith started as an out-and-out striker at Kilmarnock before playing deeper and at times wide, for Rangers and current club Everton.

However, he was asked to play the role of willing-work horse in the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Macedonia in Skopje last month and made a good fist of it as the visitors ran out 2-1 winners.

Ahead of the final Group A game against Croatia at Hampden Park next Tuesday night, the 27-year-old was asked if he would like the role on a permanent basis.

He said: "If that is the way the manager wants to play I would definitely (like to play there).

"As long as I play I am happy. I feel I can contribute up front which is where I grew up playing, and I still have the instinct of a striker, but if it is deeper it is deeper.

"The biggest thing about playing lone-striker is that when the ball comes forward you need to hold it up to let the team progress up the pitch.

"If the ball is constantly coming back then you end up not getting out of your own half.

"Plus, bringing your more advanced players into the game (is key).

Source: PA

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