Millwall striker happy to open goal account for season – and assesses Stoke City test

Matt Smith was happy to quickly get off the mark for Millwall – and now hopes they can make a winning start to their Championship season against Stoke City.

Last season’s top-scorer headed in his opening goal of the 2020-21 campaign in last weekend’s EFL Cup win at Crawley Town.

The Lions have a home start in the league. Stoke struggled last season but have signed Steven Fletcher, John Obi Mikel, Morgan Fox and James Chester – and are tipped to be a lot stronger this time around.

“We want to get the league campaign off to a good start,” said Smith. “We know it’s going to be a difficult game.

“Stoke have got lots of good players but you look at last season – nothing is a foregone conclusion. The favourites don’t necessarily end up where they are supposed to.

“You want to lay down a marker and get off to a good start, get a bit of momentum to build – because it can take you far.”

Smith nodded home Jed Wallace’s cross against the Reds.

“It’s always nice to get off the mark early – it just frees up your mind a bit,” he said. “You can crack on and get some more.

“I’m only as good as my supply line. I’m heavily reliant on those around me to look good. With Scott Malone, Connor Mahoney, Jed and Mahlon Romeo there is plenty of talent in those wide positions. Hopefully I can reap the benefits of that.”


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