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Watch | Kal Naismith on Forest win!

16 April 2022

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Kal Naismith praised the whole team effort after bouncing back from disappointment earlier in the week to condemn Nottingham Forest to a first league defeat since January.

Down to ten men for the final 25 minutes, including stoppage time, the Hatters produced a mammoth effort to get the better of their play-off rivals thanks to the Scotsman’s first-half penalty after he took responsibility from 12-yards.

“It is unbelievable humility from Elijah to be honest," Naismith said. “We had a chat before in the warm-up and I said I’ll go get the ball. We know their tactics, if we get a pen, I’ll go pick up the ball, wait until it all settles down and when it settles down, you can come to me if you want it and I’ll back you to score. You’re the talisman, you’re brilliant at penalties, everybody misses them, but you assess the situation and if you don’t want it, I’ll step up and hit it. To be fair to him, there’s not many strikers that would have that humility in the situation and say, ‘right Kal, you have a go’. If he wants the next one, he can take it. We would never be where we are without him, he’s been tremendous this season.”

On a personal note it was the 30-year-old’s second goal of the season, both of which have come in front of the Sky Sports cameras, but for him, it was all about the bigger picture at the end of the 90 minutes.

“It was a brilliant game. I don’t know how it looked from the side but playing in it was enjoyable, it was feisty, good play at times, rough and tough, it was a proper Championship game. It was really tough, playing in midfield is a lot tougher and more combative in there. It’s easy for me to say that now we’ve got three points!

“To a man, every single player was outstanding, even the ones coming off the bench. Robert Snodgrass came into the centre-midfield role and he’s not started a game for us. He was outstanding, but I could name everyone.

“I’m proud of everyone that we bounced back, you don’t know how hard that is to do in the Championship. When you go and get beat it’s easy to feel down, especially the way we lost. We felt if we scored the penalty, (at Huddersfield) we would go on with momentum, and we would have gone on and won the game. To lose, pick yourselves up and go again in a Championship game, not losing back-to-back games, I don’t know if many teams have done it. I’d like to see what ones have because it will be the ones right up there.”

Looking ahead to Monday’s clash with Cardiff City, the defender is anticipating yet another tough match.

“Cardiff are playing for pride. I play in ‘B’ games and games in training, and I hate losing, I play games with my kids and I hate losing. They’re going to do everything to win the game and so they should. It’ll be another tough match.”


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