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Jason Naismith reveals he does not know who took decision to release him from Ross County

Ross County's Jason Naismith making his second debut for the club against St Johnstone.
Jason Naismith.

Jason Naismith says his Ross County exit is shrouded in mystery as he has still to be told who took the decision to release him.

Defender Naismith was among 10 players let go by the Staggies last Thursday, bringing his second spell at Victoria Park to an end.

The news was delivered to the players by chief executive Steven Ferguson, 11 days after County secured Premiership survival, with those who were unable to attend the stadium informed via Zoom.

It is Naismith’s understanding that decisions over players’ futures were not taken by new manager Malky Mackay, who replaced John Hughes as manager last Wednesday.

Malky Mackay.

That has left Naismith, who started all 18 of County’s games since January, uncertain about which figure at the club decided on his future.

Naismith said: “There is an element of doubt over who actually made the decision. That’s the one thing you want.

“I have been told it wasn’t the new manager. I asked a lot of people throughout the club, searching for answers.

“I keep getting told it was the club that made the decision. At the end of the day, I have never met the club – the club is not a person.

“Somebody has made the decision ultimately. I spoke to a figurehead at the club who told me it was something to do with me being injured, which I find funny considering I played 18 games in a row.

“That’s the most disappointing thing. I would rather somebody be honest with me and tell me why, rather than have to go around about and figure it out.

“I felt as players we deserved to know who made the decision over our future.

“The one thing you want in football, that you very rarely get, is honesty from people. I just wish that would come a lot more.

“If somebody was honest and said it was for this reason or that reason, then you can accept it. That’s football, you take it on the chin.”

Jason Naismith.

Naismith says he would have been open to extending his stay at Dingwall, having returned on a short-term deal at Christmas following a stint with Peterborough.

He added: “I saw a lot of comments saying it must have been my choice, but the club never gave me a choice.

“I’m not saying I was definitely going to stay, but I was definitely willing to talk to the club before the dreaded Zoom call.

“It was a shock, considering what we have done since January. That’s the club’s choice and I respect that.

“The separate issue is the way they handled it all. It was horrible, even for the boys that were in contract. The way the club treated the players has been well-documented. Iain Vigurs probably hit the nail on the head with it.

“I have spoken to the chairman since and it’s disappointing. As a player at the club, you want to know what’s going on. Nobody knew what was happening, there was uncertainty and we weren’t kept in the loop.

“To find out the way we did was disappointing to say the least.”

Full-back not ruling out return to England

Naismith is keen to keep his options open, and will not rule out a return to England where he spent two-and-a-half years between his two stints with the Staggies.

The 26-year-old added: “I have spoken to a couple of people. There were a few murmurs even before I had spoken to County – I was waiting that long there was going to be.

Jason Naismith previously spent 18 months at Ross County.

“I wanted to hear from County first, and then it was a bit of a shock to get that news.

“That’s football. I will move on now, and County will move on.

“I have got my options open to everything. I have spoken to people down the road as well.

“I have said before, I think I’ve got a bit of unfinished business down there with the way things ended at Peterborough.

“I’m just looking forward to anything that crops up. If any opportunity comes my way, I will assess it.

“I’m more than ready now as well. If I needed any motivation, Ross County have just given me it in the last week or so.

“I’m ready to go back somewhere and kick on for next season.”

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