Ronnie Moore admits Kal Naismith will be a big miss over the next two weekends as Hartlepool United face two crunch away trips, writes Roy Kelly.
Naismith is on loan from Portsmouth until January 3, but is ineligible for Friday night’s FA Cup second round tie at Salford City and is not allowed to play against his own club when Pools visit Fratton Park a week on Saturday.
He’s had a great start (against Orient), though I thought he was a bit quiet on Saturday.
Moore thought Naismith was “a bit quiet” in the 1-0 home defeat to Oxford United at the weekend, though he set up the home chance of the match when he played in Mikael Mandron in the second half.
The former Rangers midfielder had made a great debut in the televised win over Leyton Orient, his through-ball setting up Jake Gray for the match-clinching third goal.
Moore described the Scot as having a magical left foot and was expecting to see that pay dividends against the U’s, only for a late shot from a free-kick to be charged down.
“We will miss Kal the next two weeks,” said Moore.
“He’s had a great start (against Orient), though I thought he was a bit quiet on Saturday.
“He had a chance with the free-kick, he has a wand of a left foot and then he sidefoots it.
“I was thinking ‘go and smash it’.
“At least drill it into the wall and it hurts one of them!
“Perhaps it’s a lack of confidence as he’s not been playing a lot of games.
“But he’s a quality player, there’s no doubt about it.”
Naismith played outside lone striker Mandron on Saturday with Rhys Oates on the other side of the on-loan Sunderland forward.
Kudus Oyenuga, who came on as a second-half substitute for Oates on Saturday, fellow sub Rakish Bingham and Scott Fenwick will be vying for the vacant spot.