Bristol news Naismith wants to get Ashton Gate rocking as he prepares to stop his fellow Scot PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Bristol City defender Kal Naismith cannot wait for his Ashton Gate bow with a considerable crowd expected in BS3
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! It may not have seemed obvious at the time but Tuesday’s open training session was a whole new experience for Kal Naismith. He’s encountered Bristol City fans before at Bournemouth and Hull City, he’s of course taken to the field at Ashton Gate previously with Luton Town and Wigan Athletic, but until then he’d never actually stepped foot in the home dressing room. The early start to the Championship campaign due to the World Cup in Qatar and Elton John’s two concerts in BS3 in June meant that the Robins summer schedule had to be conducted away from their home stadium, in Bad Radkersburg, at the High Performance Centre, Plymouth Argyle's Home Park and Bournemouth's Vitality Stadium. Naismith signed on May 27 but his promotional work was undertaken - infamously so - on the Ashton Gate roof and at Failand and, 10 weeks on, he finally got to have a taste of a room that will become hugely important over the next nine months and beyond. Indeed, the Scot claims the midweek runout in front of 1,000 supporters was hugely beneficial, not just to him but the club as a whole because for City to prosper in 2022/23 they need to foster a relationship and connection with the fanbase, beyond just being players in a team they support. Read More Related Articles Bristol City manager drops Antoine Semenyo fitness hint ahead of Sunderland encounter Read More Related Articles Nigel Pearson outlines Bristol City's position in the transfer market with four weeks remaining Among City’s issues since they returned to the Championship has been an inability to make Ashton Gate an impenetrable ground for the opposition - last season was the first since 2017/18 where the Robins points total at home was greater than their record on the road - and with more than 24,000 expected in BS3 for Saturday’s clash against Sunderland, that simply has to change. “It was the first time I’ve been in the home dressing room, I’ve obviously played there before and I’ve always enjoyed playing there - it was good to see the fans, see the kids smiling and excited. It was brilliant and enjoyable to get out on the pitch and get a feel for it before Saturday,” Naismith said. “For any successful team, any successful season, you need to be good at home, you need to have that connection with the fans, and us as players. “We spoke about it all pre-season, we want to get together with the fans this year, get them behind us. We know they’ll be there and be with us so it’s important to build that connection. We did that with the 1,000 that turned up the other day and we’re very grateful for them to come and watch us train, now there’s going to be 24,000 at a match and it’s really exciting for us as players, we can’t wait to see them and give them something to cheer for. “It’s up to us to bring that excitement, something they enjoy watching, the passion when they see the lads running for each other and desperate to win and the fans will get on board; they love their team and they’ll get on board and we can build that real special relationship going forward.” Saturday’s visit of the Black Cats, of course, presents City with the opportunity to get their first points on the board after the disappointment at the MKM Stadium against Hull City in which their impressive first-half work unravelled after the break. Kal Naismith says he's settled in well at Bristol City (Robbie Stephenson/JMP) Naismith admits that, on reflection, City did “dip off” in the second 45 minutes but while he was disappointed by referee Dean Whitestone’s decision to award a penalty against him for a foul on Benjamin Tetteh - especially as players have been instructed the threshold for illegal contact is supposed to be higher this season - ultimately, he was responsible. “It’s a tough one. From my point of view, I’m always very hard on myself, I don’t think I should be diving in and I shouldn’t go to ground inside the box but it’s a split decision - I think he’s going to pull the trigger so I’ve just acted, purely trying to stop a goal,” Naismith added. “But looking in hindsight, and looking at things the way I do, trying to improve constantly, maybe I shouldn’t go to ground so rashly and there’s maybe the slightest touch on his shinpad and he goes step, step and falls over.
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. The disappointing thing was we had a meeting with the referees and they said the threshold was higher this year but I don’t know if that was the case on that one. If I’m looking at it from my own perspective, I need to stay on my feet.” Naismith had an early glimpse of Sunderland last Sunday as he took in their 1-1 draw with Coventry City from the comfort of his sofa at his new house in Bristol, having moved out of the city centre hotel room he’d been living in since arriving from Luton Town. The former Rangers defender spoke with genuine respect and sincerity about the threats the newly-promoted side will likely pose under the watch of countryman Alex Neill, highlighting one particular Sunderland player who may be in need of special attention.
Sunderland striker Ross Stewart (Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Ross Stewart has enjoyed an impressive rise since joining Sunderland from Ross County in January 2021 and scored 26 goals in 56 games in all competitions last season as they earned promotion into the Championship. Although he’s never previously played at this level, with his experience prior to his move to the Stadium of Light all north of the border, Naismith believes he’s adapting very quickly to the demands of the division. “Really good side, really good players, (with a) top top manager, who’s been in the Championship and in the Premier League. I know him well,” Naismith said of Sunderland. “They’ll be well organised - good team, great players. “I watched the boy Stewart the other day and it seems like he’s taken to the Championship straight away and is a really good player. It’s a great challenge for me and the rest of the defenders. It’ll be a really, really tough game but if we turn up and play like we did for some parts of the first half against Hull it’ll be a tough game for them. “I don’t like to look too much at others, it’s something I’ve never done. I’ll maybe watch little bits so I’ll know what their strongest foot is, I’ll know if there’s a specific run that they like to make - if it’s a big targetman who likes to peel off to the back post on certain crosses. I’ll know bits like that but I like to focus on getting myself prepared and in the right frame of mind for the game and not get too bogged down about the other team. "I certainly know he’s a good player, I was just watching the game the other day on the couch and was thinking, ‘yeah, he’s going to be a handful - he’s a really good player.’” SIGN UP: For our daily Robins newsletter, bringing you the latest from Ashton Gate READ NEXT New Bristol City signing begins training amid uncertainty in goalkeeper department Bristol City's quick learner is giving manager Nigel Pearson a welcome selection dilemma ' People were in tears' - Bristol City women's manager shares her Wembley Euro final experience
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