Steven Naismith wants more goals

  • Last Updated: October 10 2013, 18:42 BST

Steven Naismith is closing in on his 25th Scotland cap but knows he needs to improve his goal tally as he looks towards a half-century.

Steven Naismith: Wants to score more goals
Steven Naismith: Wants to score more goals

Naismith will earn a silver medal from the Scottish Football Association if he plays against Croatia next Tuesday.

The Everton forward, 27 has scored just twice in his 24 games so far, with his decisive goal against Lithuania in September 2011 coming on the last occasion Scotland won a competitive qualifier at home.

Now, with talk of a milestone ahead, Naismith knows he must do better after reflecting on what has gone.

He said: "I don't think I will look too far ahead and expect to get 50 but when I started out in my debut, against the Faroe Islands away, under Alex McLeish, I did have a feeling that I would like to get to 25 as it is a small milestone.

"If I get to play on Tuesday night it will be a special moment for me and one that will drive me on to hopefully get to 50."

Successes have been few and far between for Naismith, but he does have some fond memories.

"Probably the most memorable game was my home debut against Holland," he said.

"They beat us 1-0 but that is the one that stands out, from the moment we came out the tunnel and the atmosphere.

"We did have a good performance for probably about 80 minutes but unfortunately it was a mistake that cost us a draw.

"That is the one that sticks out but scoring for my country is great and also doing it against the world champions (Spain) was a highlight as well."

The goals return is a disappointment and Naismith accepts he might have hit the back of the net more frequently.

"Possibly I should have," he said. "That's one criticism of myself. Although I play a bit deeper and wider I have always been in positions to get chances and scoring twice out of 24 is not as good a ratio as I would like.

"So there have been some good times but I would like there to be more good times than bad in the next 25 if I get there."

Naismith admits victories against Macedonia and Croatia in their last two away qualifiers have been a case of "far too little too late" for the Scots' World Cup qualification hopes.

He now wants them to get their home form sorted ahead of a tilt at the 2016 European Championships.

"It is something we have to aim to improve on," he said.

"Although there have probably been a few friendlies where we have had good performances, the competitive ones haven't been too good.

"You go into these campaigns and people talk about the home games being the ones you need to win, but that is definitely the case and when you have a great crowd like we do, we should be using that to our advantage.

"The (World Cup) campaign has not been good enough to be honest. The bottom line is we didn't do it in the first half of the campaign to give ourselves a chance and that is probably the most disappointing aspect."


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