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Naismith keen to rejoin Wigan Athletic boss

Kal Naismith
Kal Naismith

Kal Naismith admits the chance to work with Paul Cook and his staff again was the deciding factor in him leaving Portsmouth to pen a three-year contract with Wigan Athletic.

The 26-year-old forward becomes Cook’s first signing of the summer, having become a much-coveted free agent.

And having been strongly linked with Latics this time last year, only for a proposed deal to fall through, the former Scotland junior international jumped at the chance to move up the M6 to rejoin Cook and No.2 Leam Richardson.

“This club is a great club, and having the manager here, and the staff that I’ve worked with before, is excellent,” Naismith enthused.

“I played my best football and enjoyed football the most under them at Portsmouth.

“It’s a very tough and professional environment, but you can also have a laugh with all of the staff and the manager.

“I enjoyed every aspect of working with them. It was definitely a big part in me coming to the club.”

Naismith will formally join Latics on July 1, but says getting the deal done now is a huge weight off his mind.

“It’s nice to sort this out early in the summer,” he acknowledged.

“It’s nice to know my future and to be able to relax and have a good summer ahead of the excitement of coming back to meet all of the lads and get started.

“The Championship is a level I’ve always wanted to play at, but I’ve only accomplished the first part in getting in the door and signing for the club.

“I just want to work as hard as possible now to impress through pre-season.”

Naismith is also a ‘Paul Cook player’ in terms of style, which should allow him to hit the ground running at the DW Stadium.

“I like to get on the ball and be brave, which I know is exactly what the manager wants in all of his players,” he added.

“I try to score goals and get assists wherever I play, but the main thing is to make a positive impact for the team.

“I’ll play in any position – wherever the manager wants me to play I’ll play.”

Naismith’s also looking to pick up where he left off under Cook – in a campaign he reckons was the highlight of his career to date,

“I’ve got loads of great memories from my time at Portsmouth,” he added.

“My last season under the manager there, when we got promoted to League One ,is the best of my career so far.

“It was a lovely place to be, the fans were always good with me and I had a good relationship with them.”