NATHAN Byrne is the latest Town player to praise teammate Yaser Kasim in the wake of the Iraqi’s excellent recent form.
Byrne is perhaps better placed than most to comment having known Kasim since a young age as they came through together at Tottenham Hotspur, before linking up again at the County Ground.
Last Saturday Kasim scored a wonderful free-kick to break the deadlock against Crewe, then on Tuesday he scored and was the outstanding player on either side in the League Cup defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.
After that game Town boss Mark Cooper said if he was a Premier League manager he would be trying to sign Kasim up. Byrne, in a rich vein of form himself, attributed a measure of that to his long-time friend in the centre of the park.
“Yas (Kasim) has always been a top player ever since I’ve known him when I was 14 and we were at Spurs together,” said the 22-year-old.
“He’s more gifted than 95 per cent people on the ball that I know. If you give Yaser time and space he can damage a lot of teams. You know most of the time he’s going to keep the ball and find you.
“That’s why me and Massimo (Luongo) are staying high and wide because you know people like him are going to find us.
“I think the way me and Massimo play at the moment together is working really well for the team and we’ve got great understanding on the right side and I’m just enjoying it.
“I’m certainly enjoying my football at the moment. The boys are playing well, I think we’re playing even better football than last year arguably.
“It’s nice to know that I’ve got that position and if I keep playing the way I am I’m going to keep it.”
However happy, Byrne knows that just as quickly as you can find form, it can disappear and those who are quick to praise can just as quickly turn the other way. The speedy wide-man chooses to ignore conjecture and trust his own ability to see him through the good and bad times.
“I am genuinely quite a confident player, What people say doesn’t really get to me. I know I’m playing well, you can feel it when you’re playing well yourself,” he revealed.
“That’s the best way to take it because I know one day you can be the hero, then you can be the villain, then you can be the hero again.
“You shouldn’t let anything get to you whether it’s a positive comment or negative. If you keep applying yourself in the way you know you can things will work out.”