Reds boss James Beattie reckons new signing Kal Naismith will provide the X-factor for Stanley this season.

After spending pre-season with Stanley, the Scottish forward joined the club in time for last Saturday’s draw with Portsmouth and came straight in for his Accy debut.

The 21-year-old is set to remain in the starting line-up for tomorrow’s game at Bury and, having got another week’s training under his belt, the youngster hopes to show the potential that first caught Beattie’s eye while he was playing for Rangers during the 2010/11 season.

“They had a few really good young players training with us at the time and Kal was one of them,” Beattie explained.

“They were on the fringes of the first team but weren’t getting a game so they had nothing to play for at the weekend.

“As a young footballer, I believe, you need something to work to, no matter what the game is. So I told them ‘you need to ask the gaffer if you can go out on loan and play a few games’.”

Naismith did just that, playing for Cowdenbeath and Partick Thistle during the 2011/12 campaign.

He then scored twice in 21 games for Rangers last season – 17 from the bench – only to then find he was surplus to requirements at Ibrox.

But having made the move into management himself this summer, Beattie offered Naismith the chance to play with Stanley.

Peter Murphy celebrates his second goal against Portsmouth last Saturday
Peter Murphy celebrates his second goal against Portsmouth last Saturday
 

The move was delayed as Rangers initially hoped to receive a fee.

Naismith therefore returned to Scotland after scoring in the Reds’ friendly with Tranmere but was left to “train with the kids”.

However, he managed to negotiate a release with Rangers and once he’d become a free agent he signed for Stanley.

Naismith admits he lost some of the sharpness he built up with the Reds in pre-season but Beattie showed his faith in the youngster by throwing him straight in against Portsmouth – and he still managed to pose the Pompey left-back plenty of problems.

“He’s a hell of a player,” said the Reds’ boss. “When he gets match fit he’ll be a real handful.

“Defenders at this level won’t know how to play against him.

“If he fulfils the potential I know he’s got then I’ll tell you now, we won’t be able to hold onto him.”

If that’s the case, Stanley will be able to demand a fee as Naismith has signed a two-year deal, becoming the third of this summer’s trialists to be taken on after Danny Webber and Josh Windass.

Firstly, though, Naismith must focus on steering the Reds to victory at Bury, who have also failed to win in their first two league games.

“We’ll go into every game wanting to win,” Beattie added. “There’ll be a certain strategy because it’s going to be horses for courses this season. I’ll put out the team I think’s best equipped to get Accrington Stanley the three points.”

Second-choice keeper Andrew Dawber is not available having joined Evo-Stik Premier side Marine on a month’s loan.