Millwall boss makes admission on Matt Smith after striker’s vital goal in Reading win

Matt Smith will get more chances to impact games for Millwall – with manager Gary Rowett labelling the big striker as their most consistent source of goals.

The former Fulham and QPR targetman has struggled to hold down a starting spot this season with the Lions operating with a more mobile forward to press from the front.

But Smith came off the bench to equalise in Millwall’s 2-1 win at Reading on Saturday. It was his fifth goal of the campaign and fourth in the Championship. He also made an impact after being introduced at Bournemouth last month, pouncing for a 79th-minute leveller in a 1-1 draw.

The 31-year-old top-scored with 14 goals for the Lions last season.

“Matt has been the most consistent in delivering goals and chances since we have been here,” said Rowett. “That is what his job is. He wants to play more.

“I said after that he deserves to play more. Every time he goes on the pitch he shows what he is all about. That is all he can do. We’re lucky to have him. I said two weeks ago that there is a lot more game time and it’s up to us to utilise it and make the most of it. It was certainly a very good start, his half hour on Saturday.

“The honest truth is that Matt is always in your thoughts, just because he has done what it says on the tin. He is asked to score goals and got 14 last season. This season he has got some really important ones recently, Bournemouth and Saturday’s one. He has had that knack all of his career to be in the right place at the right time.

“I’ve spoken about Matt previously and that it is a difficult one. If you want that press and that speed in the forward areas to shut people down as part of a system then it is hard for him to play that role.”


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