Steven Naismith has admitted he is finally starting to adapt to life in the Premier League after having an inferiority complex when he first moved to Everton from Rangers just over two years ago.
The 27-year-old Scotland international was often used as a substitute when he first arrived at Goodison Park by then boss David Moyes but appears to have evolved into a more complete player since Roberto Martinez was appointed as Toffees manager in the summer of 2013.
Last season Naismith scored nine times in 36 appearances for Martinez’s side and he has started the 2013-14 campaign superbly, finding the net in each of Everton’s three Premier League matches to date – against Leicester City, Arsenal and Chelsea.
He also produced an excellent display as Scotland opened their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a spirited 2-1 defeat at World Cup winners Germany.
Naismith said. “I take a bit of time to settle into new surroundings and that’s what happened here but I feel confident in anyone’s company now.
“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 has prospered since dropping back into the number 10 role behind Romelu Lukaku and has helped to negate the blow of losing Ross Barkley to injury.
Everton are 2.16 to register their first win of the season when they take on West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday. A victory for the Baggies is available at 3.20.