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 By Mike Whalley

Steven Naismith reveals struggles after Everton move

Steven Naismith has been in excellent form for Everton so far this season.

Steven Naismith says he has overcome his feelings of inferiority to thrive in the Premier League with Everton.

Scotland forward Naismith, 27, has acknowledged that he faced a battle to prove himself in England when he left Rangers to move to Goodison Park on a free transfer in July 2012.

He said it took him some time to adjust to the Premier League, but has started his third season at Everton with three goals in his first three matches.

He was also part of the Scotland side who impressed in losing 2-1 to world champions Germany in a Euro 2016 qualifier in Dortmund on Sunday.

Naismith told the Liverpool Echo: "When I first moved, I definitely felt a bit inferior. It's been a problem for Scots boys in the past and I was the same. Looking around the squad you think to yourself: 'Should I be here?'

"But as you get more comfortable with the lads on and off the field things begin to go for you. I feel I belong here now."

Naismith was brought to Everton by David Moyes but suggests it was the arrival of Roberto Martinez as manager in 2013 that gave him the confidence to achieve his potential.

He said: "It's down to confidence. That comes from the manager who allows me to express myself. He knows my best position and he's given me my chance there. He knows I can get up and down the pitch -- but if I play wider I maybe lose aspects of my game.

"I grew up as a striker and he knows I still have a knack of getting in the box. He knows I will defend for the team but he still gives me the freedom going forward.

"When you are playing against big teams, for your club or for your country, you want to test yourself. I feel confident enough now that when we do play them we are looking for a result. We drew with Arsenal recently and it felt like a defeat. That's how far I've come."

Naismith added: "I always believed I could play at this level. I didn't envisage a change of manager and perhaps how long it did take me, but I definitely believed I could go down there and play.

"In the past I've played in the Champions League and in big games for my country and I've always showed up well. I take a bit of time to settle into new surroundings and that's what happened here. I feel confident in anyone's company now."


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