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Smith: "Preston win summed up our character"

Striker gives his verdict following win on his debut

5 August 2019

Matt Smith claims it “sums up our character” after Millwall took a valuable three points from Saturday’s opening Sky Bet Championship fixture against Preston North End at The Den.

The towering striker made his competitive debut in the 1-0 victory, and gives a positive review of the contest.

“It was a really pleasing victory,” Smith told millwallfc.co.uk.

“It summed up our character for us to be able to fight from the first minute to the 94th, and to a man we were absolutely superb. Our subs that came on impacted the game well for us and we deserved the three points. It’s a great bit of confidence for us going into what is a long season.

“That’s the nature of the beast that is The Championship – it can be tough at times and you have to ride the storm, which we did. There were lots of standout performances, and I’m sure it gives the crowd a boost because it certainly does in the camp. The lads are buzzing after securing that win.”

Playing his first League game on home turf – alongside several fellow debutants – Smith was certainly one to immediately notice the electric atmosphere inside The Den.

“The atmosphere was incredible. For what is a 20,000-seater stadium, it feels like 40 thousand.

“The noise was amazing, and the drive and impetus the crowd here give you to go forward – particularly in the latter moments of the game – gave a real spur to the players.

“We’re going to need that all season, and it’s up to us to perform from that. It was mentioned in the dressing room after the game, and it’s important to have the fans with us.”

The forward has spoken happily about how he has adapted to life at Millwall since his summer arrival from Queens Park Rangers, and is confident the goals will soon follow.

“I’ve settled in really well. When I’ve been asked about how I’ve got on here so far, the integration has been dead easy with a very welcoming group and manager.

“From that perspective it’s been easy, and it’s very pleasing to be here. I want to give my all for the side, I tried to do that in the first game – obviously the goal wasn’t there – but hopefully they’ll start to flow and it can contribute well to the team.”

Smith and the squad now look ahead to Saturday’s tough test at West Bromwich Albion as The Lions’ away campaign gets underway.

“Show me an easy fixture, because I don’t think there is one,” he says.

“We’re in a really tough League, and that’s what makes things so exciting – the opening weekend results have already shown us that – and we just have to make sure game-by-game we’re as ready as we can be.

“We’ll do our homework on West Brom, they’re a top side with a lot of Premier League experience, so we’ll have to be at it and show that mental spirit and determination to see us through.”


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