Steven Naismith has said it is “very tough” sitting on the bench, but hopes the busy Christmas schedule could save his Everton career.
The 29-year-old forward has made nine Premier League appearances this season, but he hasn’t played in the league since the 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United back in October.
Naismith, who was an unused sub in the 1-1 draw at Norwich over the weekend, said last week that he will hold talks with boss Roberto Martinez in January and re-assess his future options.
But the former Rangers man, who almost joined Norwich for £8million in the summer before Martinez blocked the deal, has admitted a watching brief is difficult to handle.
“It’s tough, it’s very tough because you’re not getting the chance to go out there and make a statement about trying to get back in the team,” Naismith told the Liverpool Echo.
“But, on the other hand, I love going in everyday and training with this squad. It’s probably the first time I’ve sat back and thought that I’m now one of the older guys in the team.
“We have all these young guys, they have no fear, they don’t care who they are playing against and they just go and play their own game. It is amazing to see that.
“So if I’m not playing and I’m on the bench, I love watching these lads.”
Naismith though, who hasn’t started a game since being subbed at half-time against Manchester United, has certainly not given up on his career at Goodison and is “focused on the Christmas run”.
“I’ll speak to the manager and see where we’re at but I am just focused on the Christmas run, there are so many games and it might be the chance I need,” he added.
“Come the middle of January, I may have played every game since and it’s no longer being talked about.
“But, like you say, I am so settled in the area and I could not have picked a better football club to come to, From the way it is run, to the city being like Glasgow where I grew up.
“My family are settled here and they all love it here so it will be tough if that time comes but you never know what will happen.
“I have learnt in football than things can change in an instant.
“After my first season at Everton, I was being written off and people didn’t think I was worth my place in the squad.
“But a year later I was playing well and played nearly every game throughout the season so football is so fickle and can change so quickly.
“But is hard to take when the team are winning and you are on the bench and not featuring,” added Naismith, who has been mentioned as a loan target for West Ham.
“I’ve had a couple of bad injuries in my career and I know how frustrating and tough it can be when you’re not able to play, but I’m not injured, I’m fit but can’t get into the team.”