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Premier League

Naismith: Moyes key to Everton move

Steven Naismith said the achievements of Everton manager David Moyes in his decade at the club were a major reason for him moving to Merseyside on a free transfer after becoming the latest in a string of players to leave crisis-hit Rangers.

Naismith, 25, switched to Goodison on a four-year deal after opting not to transfer his contract to Charles Green's "newco" Rangers. He asked the advice of his former Ibrox team-mate Nikica Jelavic, who joined Everton last season.

The Scotland striker - who also asked David Weir, another ex-Rangers figure now working as a coach under Moyes, for his thoughts - said: "Under the manager's leadership over the last 10 years, Everton have been one of the most successful clubs in terms of growing. The facilities are world class.

"I think last season showed that - finishing seventh in the world's best league and above your nearest rivals, and doing quite well in the cups. It is what every player strives for.

"I spoke to Nikica, and David Weir especially. He has been a big part of my career, and he told me I would love it. His words mean a lot to me."

Naismith said he believed the calibre of footballer in the Everton squad would make him a better player, adding: "I am confident I can do it at the highest level and, with the help of my team-mates, hopefully we can start the season quickly."

Moyes said he was delighted to welcome Naismith to his squad, but added that what was happening at Rangers was "a tragedy".

The Glaswegian, a former Celtic player, said: "I'm from the city myself, so I know exactly what it means - and it is a terrible situation.

"I couldn't tell you all the ins and outs, but I am looking at it and thinking it is terrible that a club of Rangers' stature would even be in this position."

Naismith admitted that it had been hard to leave Rangers behind, saying: "I spent the best years of my career so far at Rangers... it was a big decision that had to be made, and I'm glad I can move on and work on the football side of things.

"There is going to be disappointment with some fans and some are going to wish me well - and I've had both. It's a relatively short career and you have to maximise your opportunities.

"Part of my reason for moving on was the uncertainty. Rangers don't know what league they are playing in."


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