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TOMMY: CLEAN SHEET WAS MASSIVE

24 November 2014

Tommy Smith reflects on Saturday’s derby clash

Town right-back Tommy Smith was delighted to help his side keep a clean sheet in Saturday’s Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday. 

“It’s massive,” Tommy admitted. “The Manager has been saying after the defeats at Fulham and Derby that we need to get back to shutting the door on teams and I think we did that on Saturday. 

“Obviously they had chances but most teams do in games - everyone has chances - but we’ve got a clean sheet and obviously that’s a bonus for us.

“I think overall a draw may have been a fair result but I certainly think there were chances there for both teams. Our big one came towards the end for Nahki (Wells); if he puts that away, which he normally does, we win the game 1-0, but I think in the end the draw was about right.”

Smith was heavily involved in the best chance of the first-half, almost feeding Sean Scannell with a low-cross – only to see Scannell’s opposite number Tom Lees deny the wide-man with a vital challenge. 

Tommy continued: “A few of the staff mentioned to me then that it was great defending, but on another day the defender doesn’t get back in and we score. ‘Scanz’ was right in front of the goal and he thought he’d scored, so for the lad to get back in was great defending.”

Smith has started all but one of Chris Powell’s 13 games in charge of Town, regularly playing front of ‘keeper Alex Smithies. However, the custodian missed the game on Saturday – the first game in the League he’s been unavailable for since Town’s Play-Off Semi-Final in 2012. 

The 24-year old, who was side-lined due to back spasms, was replaced by Joe Murphy and the Irish goalkeeper impressed, denying a lively Royston Drenthe late on to secure a pressure point. 

Tommy said of Joe: “He’s a brilliant ‘keeper - we all know that about ‘Murph’ (Murphy). Alex is obviously a great ‘keeper, but it’s brilliant to have someone who can step in like ‘Murph’s’ done today and perform so well. 

“Like I say, we know what he’s about; we know from training so it was no surprise for us that he’s come in and done so well. I was thinking that chance (for Drenthe) could be it so late in the game and that would have been heart-breaking, but he’s pulled off a great save and kept the score at 0-0.” 

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