Smith previews Saturday’s game at Fulham
- Tommy Smith previews Fulham vs Huddersfield Town
- Defender wants to replicate second half vs Brighton
- Smith sees room for improvement as individual and a unit
Tommy Smith believes Town will soon get a first win of the 2015/16 Sky Bet Championship season if the second half performance against Brighton can be replicated over 90 minutes.
Tommy says Town’s squad will go into Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship game at Fulham full of confidence after the second 45 minutes in midweek, which saw Town draw 1-1 with the league leaders.
“We’re feeling good. It was a tough game on Tuesday night, as was Saturday against Blackburn, but in the second half we were really positive. We definitely deserved something out of the game and we got the goal through ‘Butts’. If anyone was going to take three points from the game, I thought it was going to be us.
“I think that should push us on nicely this week as we head down to Fulham.”
Despite that improvement, the defender was adamant that nobody is resting on their laurels:
“We’re always trying to work on things and better ourselves as a team.
“We can’t concede as early as we did against Brighton – that was a terrible start for us – but after that we thoroughly deserved to get back into the game. Regardless, we definitely need to eradicate that.
“I don’t think anyone expected that to happen so early in the game and when it came, it was a bit of a shock to us. Fair play to all the lads because they dug in and after that chance, I don’t think there were many clear-cut opportunities for Brighton.
“We are trying to get some clean sheets into our game, which would obviously help us throughout the season.
“I think attacking-wise we’re OK; we’re creating lots of chances and the goals are starting to come. Ultimately, we will start winning games.”
Former Manchester City youngster Tommy was full of praise for the impact the Town faithful have had in the first two home league fixtures of 2015/16:
“They play a massive part and it’s been brilliant to have noise from all sections of the Stadium; having all four sides backing us really has made a difference.
“The fans here are always brilliant. They turn up in good numbers away from home and at home and I know they are desperate for us to do well – as are the players. We all want the football club to do as well as it possibly can and having the players behind us will help.”
Smith is now playing in front of a new face in goal following Alex Smithies’ departure to Queens Park Rangers in goalkeeper Joe Murphy; a man he is full of praise for:
“He’s brilliant; he’s a great ‘keeper. He’s been around, been there and done it.
“He’s a great talker, which probably comes through all that experience. He lets us know what he thinks, what the best thing to do is and what is best for him. In turn, that helps us. It’s good to have a big voice behind us.”
As for his own performances – Tommy has started every game so far this season – he admitted he can see room for improvement:
“I’m OK. I’m a little disappointed at certain aspects of my game, but I am my own worst critic. When there are certain things I’m not doing well, I will pick up on it straight away and try to get better. I’m relatively pleased, but there is definitely room for improvement.
“I always feel pressure to perform and do well; I’m desperate to do well at the Club.”
Usually a full back, Tommy has played slightly higher up the pitch on occasion this term thanks in part to the absence through injury of Sean Scannell.
He continued: “I really don’t mind playing wherever the Manager needs me to play. I’ve played at wing back a couple of times this season and I don’t mind doing it. My primary position is at right back and ultimately I will be judged on my defending – that will keep me in the team – but I don’t mind getting forward as well.”
The 23 year-old explained that having a former England full back as Manager is helping his personal development:
“It’s great that the Manager was a defender as he can help me out with certain things; we do a lot of defensive work together. He gets all the defenders in a group and goes over certain areas that we can improve upon. It’s brilliant.”
Now Tommy is fully focused on helping the Terriers seal a first competitive win of 2015/16 at Fulham on Saturday:
“We’re still very early on in the season and one of our three games has been away at Hull, so I don’t think we’ve started badly at all. There’s definitely momentum now after the first half against Blackburn and second half against Brighton, so if we can put the two together on Saturday I think we will get a positive result.
“We know Craven Cottage is a tight ground; we experienced last year that the fans are really on top of you.
“Last season, we felt very unfortunate to come away from there with nothing. We got back in the game late on through Joel (Lynch), only to concede two goals even later than that. It took us by surprise a little bit.
“They will give us different problems to Brighton; I think every team poses a different threat. It’s up to us to nullify their threats and go from there, imposing our game on them. We’re going there to put our stamp on the game.
“We’re going there looking for a positive result. If we play the way we know we can and do the right things, I’m sure we’ll get it.”