Scotland: Steven Naismith warns of Aiden McGeady danger

Steven Naismith
Steven Naismith was on target in last month's 2-2 draw with Poland in Warsaw
Scotland v Republic of Ireland
Venue: Celtic Park Date: 14 November Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland & online. Live text on BBC Sport website.

Steven Naismith says Scottish fans will see an improved Aiden McGeady when the Republic of Ireland visit on Friday.

The duo are Everton team-mates now, having been rivals with Rangers and Celtic and in boys' football.

"He will be a threat," said Naismith, who is in line for his 33rd Scotland cap. "He's a top-quality player and someone we will need to watch.

"He maybe started a bit slow but, over the past month he has probably played his best football for Everton."

And Naismith thinks fellow 28-year-old McGeady is a more astute player than the one that left Celtic for Spartak Moscow in 2010.

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"He has matured a lot," Naismith said. "Like a lot of young forward players they try to do everything themselves, but over time, as you get older, you understand that teams might double up on you so there's a free person that can do a bit more damage and you become more of a team player.

"From seeing him from afar to becoming a team-mate, I think that's the biggest change."

Paisley-born McGeady is expected to get a hostile reception along with his fellow native Scot and club and international team-mate James McCarthy, although the former Hamilton midfielder is struggling with a hamstring problem.

Aiden McGeady (left) and Steven Naismith (right) are Everton team-mates
McGeady (left) and Naismith (right) are Everton team-mates

But Naismith thinks too much is being made over the issue.

"The fans are going to come and support Scotland, and that's going to be their main priority," he said. "Every away ground I go to fans boo me, and I shout comments. It's part of the game.

"I don't think it will be that big a deal, I don't think it will be something that will play on their minds or even the Scotland fans'. They will hopefully be cheering us.

"We've not really mentioned anything about that. For Aiden personally it's going to be a big event going back to Celtic Park."

Naismith and his Scotland team-mates are familiar with most of the Republic of Ireland, with both squads drawn largely from the English Premier League and Championship.

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"Both teams will know each other inside out," he said. "It maybe turns it into more of a club-like game where you know your opponents."

Naismith left Rangers for Goodison Park in 2012 and is looking forward to playing at the home of his old rivals.

"It will be strange going into the home dressing room but Celtic Park has good memories for me," he explained.

"I scored my first goals against Celtic for Kilmarnock there and I had a few Old Firm ones as well."

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