By Craig Turnbull
Scotland star Stevie Naismith says the disappointment of the failed Euro 2016 qualifying campaign is driving him on to ensure he doesn’t end up without a major tournament on his CV.
The Scots prolonged agony continued as it will now be at least 20 years before the nation will be back to a World Cup on the back of the failed attempt to reach Euro 2016 in France next summer.
And to compound the attacker’s misery most of his Everton team-mates and the rest of the home nations will be having a party while he sits at home watching it all unfold.
Nevertheless, the disappointment of missing out is all the motivation Naismith needs to help Scotland get back on the world stage.
Asked if not qualifying would be a glaring hole in his CV, Naismith, who was promoting the homeless charity Loaves and Fishes, said: “It would definitely be a disappointment with some of the squads I’ve been in.
“It definitely drives you on; you look at a lot of the home nations that are going to be there and it’s frustrating that we’re not when we felt we had as good a squad.
“They’ve all managed to do it and it’s got to drive us on in the future.
“We’ve competed against these teams and held our own so I think we will definitely be confident going forward into them.”
With Naismith’s club Everton enjoying an impressive run of form, the 29-year-old hasn’t been able to get a look in and he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a move in January after an £8 million offer was rejected from Norwich for his services last summer.
“At the start of the season when I wasn’t playing I got thrown on against Chelsea nine minutes in and not many people would have thought I’d score a hat-trick then so that shows you how quickly it can change,” he said.
“I’ll just keep working hard on trying to break into the team and if I do then I need to take my chance.
“I’m at a great moment in terms of how confident I am and how much I believe in myself.
“If something comes up in January, it’s something I’ve got to think about but it’s got to be the right thing and I think I’ll know. Everything I’ve done in my career so far has felt right.”