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Smith on "satisfying feeling" of scoring Saturday's winner

Read from the number 10

12 November 2019

Matt Smith had been on the field for just five minutes during Saturday's Sky Bet Championship derby with Charlton Athletic before writing his name into Millwall history.

With the game against The Addicks tightly locked at 1-1, 'Smudger' rose highest in a crowded penalty area one minutes into stoppage-time to head home Jed Wallace's corner-kick and spark wild celebrations amongst the 15,000 Lions fans inside The Den - not to mention the staff and players themselves.

The striker's fourth goal of the season kept up an outstanding record that The Lions hold over their nearest and dearest neighbours - and he expressed his delight to after the game, crediting the manager for his late introduction from the bench.

"It was a great feeling and no less than the lads deserved," he said. "We came out of the blocks flying and were really impressive in the first 10-15 minutes. We scored a great goal, but then Charlton posed a lot of problems, particularly at the back end of the first-half and the beginning of the second, but the team dug deep and played some impressive stuff themselves.

"As the game wore on, I thought there would only be one winner. Fair play to the manager, he rung the changes and got us the three points. It's a really satisfying feeling to get the winner in a local derby, in that manner as well.

"To go into the international break off the back of a win like that is really good for morale."

The 30-year-old has seen first-team action somewhat restricted in recent times, but told of the "special" nature of Saturday's derby, and how the result can hopefully provide the launchpad for Millwall to sort out their away form, which in stark contrast to just one defeat at The Den (to Queens Park Rangers), has seen The Lions yet to taste success on the road.

"They're the games you want to play in - it has that extra bit of atmosphere and spice, they're a bit different to your regular League fixture. I've played in some good derbies across the country and they're all special.

"Addressing the away form is what is going to turn our season. We've been very productive at home, the performances have been strong and we have a spine to the team. We've lacked that edge to us when going away, though, and given away some soft goals in soft performances - the lads will back me in saying that.

"Putting in improved performances and picking up points on the road is what is going to galvinise our season. You can work as hard as you want at home, but, ultimately, if you're chucking points away elsewhere, your campaign is going to fizzle out."

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