Bristol City star has no regrets over transfer decision amid Luton Town success

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Kal Naismith could only watch on as his former Luton Town teammates won promotion - but he holds no regrets over his move to Bristol City.

Kal Naismith has backed his decision to join Bristol City, despite his former club Luton Town winning promotion.

The 31-year-old left Kenilworth Road last season in the hope of reaching the Premier League. He could only watch on though as his current side finished 14th and the Hatters won the Championship play-offs.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Naismith - one-year into a three-year deal at Ashton Gate, was a useful player for the Robins last season, playing in various roles. He came in to be a left-sided centre-back but also played as a defensive midfielder.

Despite now gearing up for another season in the second tier whilst Luton taste the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, the utility man backs his decision to sign up to Nigel Pearson’s team. He has made a prediction that in the next two years the club will achieve their dream of reaching the top flight of English football.

He said to The News: ‘I love it at Bristol City, it’s an amazing club, full of good lads all working hard, and fantastic support.

“In my time, this club will get to the Premier League, I know we will, I just have that feeling. I’m still very comfortable with my decision.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Naismith’s departure was made somewhat sour when he was unveiled. He was to be a free agent that summer and was unveiled by Bristol City, but Luton Town published a club statement. They were ‘surprised’ by Bristol City’s announcement, and claimed it was ‘usual etiquette’ to inform the departing club. He has now opened up on his departure, claiming that talks over a new contract at Luton had gone cold, until he scored an important match-winning goal against Bournemouth.

‘I watched Luton reach the Premier League on TV,” said Naismith to The News.

‘My time there ended on bad terms, the chief executive claimed he didn’t know I was leaving, saying “It’s a surprise to us that Naismith’s going to Bristol City.

‘How can it be a surprise? I have been on the phone to the club every single day, not him personally mind, I spoke to the manager.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At the time of his departure, Luton had just lost to Huddersfield Town in the play-offs under Nathan Jones. They had a respectable campaign by their own admission, but just not reach the Wembley Stadium final.

Naismith - who had been converted into a centre-back - had been exploring the market, and whilst there being a contract offer on the table, he was keen to explore options. Bristol City had sold the dream to Naismith with an impressive sales pitch, as they showcased their state-of-the-art High Performance Centre training ground.

He continued with: ‘When I first joined, I had signed an 18-month deal and did really well for six months.

“It was a case of “You’re better than we thought, do you want a new deal in the summer?”. My response was “Let’s get it sorted.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘So I kept asking my agent how it was progressing – yet he had heard nothing. It went on a bit long.

He added: ‘ ‘I scored the winner in a 3-2 win over Bournemouth in January 2022 and a week later the offer was there. It was now February and my contract ended in June.”

Nigel Pearson’s Bristol City team had finished a lowly 17th, but as the 2022/23 season has shown, his side are a work in progress. The team finished three places higher than last season and there is a talk within the camp of making a play-off push. Naismith is one of those experienced figures in the squad that believes he can help the younger players across that white line.

“I was in the form of my life and decided to see what was out there,” he admitted. I was now classed as one of the better Championship centre-halves, so I’m going to wait and see.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘The manager (Jones) was brilliant with me, I still played every game, and we reached the play-offs against Huddersfield. After that, Bristol City felt the right place for me.

‘My whole decision was based on kind of getting into the Premier League. I’ve not long left a club which has now got there, but I’m still very positive about my decision.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.