NEW Everton signing Steven Naismith is pleased to be able to concentrate purely on football having left behind difficult times at Rangers.
The 25-year-old freed himself from his contract at the troubled Scottish side after they descended towards liquidation and declined to transfer his contract to the newco club.
That allowed Everton to snap him up on a free transfer with the forward signing a four-year deal.
Naismith had to answer numerous questions about his former club at his presentation press conference yesterday but now is keen to focus on the day job.
“The last six months there has been a lot of uncertainty and a lot of topics off football and not on it and obviously I’ve been out injured as well,” said the Scotland international, who sat out the majority of last season after sustaining a knee injury in October.
“It has been really difficult in terms of getting asked questions and getting involved in different matters no footballer ever thinks they will ever have to deal with.
“That was probably the hardest part of it but as a squad we dealt with it very well.
“The outcomes haven’t been the greatest for Rangers but for myself I am delighted to be getting back to pre-season and working hard.
“It is good to just get back to the football side of things. I see my future at Everton and I hope can progress and get in the team.”
That work starts today as a reduced squad - missing those players involved in summer internationals - flew out to the mountain village of Obertraun yesterday for five days of intense fitness work.
Manager David Moyes is looking forward to putting the players through their paces again and believes Naismith will not take long to fit in.
“I am enjoying the pre-season and getting some players back in, although we have not got all the players back in,” said the Scot.
“Steven is still recovering from an injury so people shouldn’t expect too much, too soon from him and especially expecting him to be ready to play in games straight away.
“But I think he fits us with his work-rate, the way he goes about his business and he can play in various positions.
“I think I can use him in several roles and we will use him wherever we see fit.
“That happens at Everton, you are expected to play in two or three different roles.”
Moyes was linked to the Tottenham job when Harry Redknapp departed but the club always dismissed the possibility of him leaving and they were never approached by the Londoners.
And although the reputation of the Toffees’ boss has probably been enhanced he remains unflustered by all the fuss about him - and revealed he is not yet concerned about a new deal at Goodison Park even though his is in the final year of current one.
“I don’t think the managers’ contract is that important, it is more important we get the players sorted,” he added.
“It is not desperate. I have a contract here and I am more than happy. It certainly doesn’t affect my work.
“I told everyone (at the end of the last season) I was getting on with my job and that is what would be happening and I’m looking forward to adding more to the squad.”