MATT’S EAGER TO GET BACK ON GOAL TRAIL...
MATT Smith is eyeing up a return to Fulham’s starting XI on a regular basis after injury – even though the striker admits that is easier said than done given the form of Moussa Dembele.
After scoring on the opening day of the season, Smith, 26, suffered a knee injury against Hull three days later and spent more than a month on the sidelines.
But he returned last weekend as an unused substitute in the thrilling 4-2 victory over Reading and will be eager to show Kit Symons that the worst is now behind him.
While sat on the bench at Craven Cottage last Saturday, he watched Dembele score two and set up one of Fulham’s four goals – having also netted three days earlier against Leeds – and striker Smith knows the 19year-old’s form means he will have to work hard to get back in the starting line-up.
“Moussa’s really shone, he’s been one of the standout performers, certainly in my absence,” Smith said.
“I’ve said all along Moussa really does have all the physical attributes to be a top, top footballer.
“It’s healthy competition. Obviously I want to be back in that XI where I started out the season.
“I have no intention of just sitting around on the bench, so we’ve all got to push ourselves.
“The Championship’s a difficult league, you can have three games a week.The winter months in particular are when teams can come into their own, so you’re really going to need the whole squad.
“It’s up to me that when I do get the opportunity to get out on the pitch I prove my worth again and try and get back to scoring goals, as I did at the back end of last season and then the very first game of this one.
“I was injured not long after that, so if I get back on the pitch and start scoring goals again, hopefully that can get me back in the side.”
RETURN: Matt Smith