Everton forward Steven Naismith has conceded that his remarkable hat-trick against Chelsea was fuelled by frustration.
Scotland international Naismith began Saturday’s Premier League encounter in the familiar role of substitute but was thrust into the action when midfielder Muhamed Besic suffered a ninth-minute injury.
He proceeded to net a stunning treble, inspiring a 3-1 win over Jose Mourinho’s ailing champions
“You could say there was a bit of frustration there. I think most times when you’re not starting games you are frustrated,” Naismith said, as quoted by The Daily Telegraph
“You have to be ready at all times. I was and I took my chances.”
Naismith told The Daily Mail that his head was turned by a deadline-day approach from Norwich City but he took boss Roberto Martinez’s refusal to sell him as a compliment and hopes his weekend heroics can see his hunger for regular starts satisfied at Goodison Park.
“When you are not playing every week it is hard to look past these opportunities [to leave the club],” the 28-year-old said. “But it was out of my hands because the manager said he didn’t want me to leave. That was nice in a way but when you’re not playing it is hard to take.
“Things can change so quickly in football, though. Hopefully I’ve shown my worth to the team. At my age, you do wonder how long it is going to be before you are playing regularly again. I was still coming on in games with a good bit of time to play, so that gave me hope that I could still be here at Everton.
“When the manager said it wasn’t going to happen, I knew then I had to work hard and be ready for a day like this against Chelsea. The manager said he saw me as a valuable part of the squad and wanted to keep me. Everyone has a role to play.”