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Smith talks Forest, busy month and starting at Birmingham

Striker excited to return to The Den

5 December 2019

Matt Smith has spoken of the squad’s excitement to return to a floodlit Den on Friday night as Millwall take on Nottingham Forest.

The striker gave his take on last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham City, a result which stretched The Lions’ unbeaten streak in the Sky Bet Championship to four games.

“We’re really excited – we’ve had some positive results, and now we take on another good side,” Smith said to millwallfc.co.uk.

“Hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves and turn in a good performance, ultimately getting that winning momentum going again.

“There was an element of disappointment after Birmingham to come unstuck at a set-piece – which is usually our bread and butter in both boxes – but we can’t get too disheartened, it’s another point on the board, and likewise against Wigan. If we keep picking up points, we’ll head in the right direction.”

Whilst Smith describes December as a “hectic month”, the 30-year-old insists Gary Rowett’s squad have taken in the right amount of rest and preparation at Calmont Road.

“It’s been a good week of recovery and training – we’re coming into a busy period of time. December is a hectic month.

“The lads have got the proper amount of rest and also the right amount of training which sets us up well for Friday night.

“The results at home have been a testament to the support we get at The Den. It’s a real intense atmosphere – as an opposition player it’s not the kindest to play in – so for a home side, we use that to our advantage and our results have reflected how good our fans have been.”

The striker is wary of the threat of fourth-placed Forest, who have enjoyed an encouraging first few months under new boss Sabri Lamouchi.

“Forest are obviously a very good side. The group they have is pretty similar to the group they’ve had over previous years, but the new manager has brought faces in and brought with him a new brand of football.

“They’re doing well, and we’re aware of their threat. Our lads have been around The Championship long enough to know the dangers of their players, so like any game in this League, it’s tough and will be a physical battle.

“We’re going to have to make sure we’re up to the test.”

Smith returned to Rowett’s starting XI for last weekend’s share of the spoils at St. Andrew’s, and says he will continue to work hard for as much playing time as possible.

“For me individually it’s just been about staying positive, trying to impact and contribute as much as I can in whatever capacity I’ll be given.

“All I can do is try my hardest – if it’s four minutes coming off the bench against Charlton, half a game against Wigan or from the start at Birmingham, I’ll always do my best.

“I was delighted to get back in the side last weekend, and hopefully that’s something I can continue – ultimately, that’s why I came to Millwall.”


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