Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News


16 February 2016

Right back delighted with the clean sheet at the City Ground

- Tommy Smith reviews win at Nottingham Forest
- Right back happy with team's defensive display
- Smith discusses performances of Lolley & Matmour

Tommy Smith praised the collective responsibility that the Town players showed to keep a clean sheet on the way to three points in Saturday’s 2-0 Sky Bet Championship win at Nottingham Forest.

The 23 year-old played a big part in keeping the Tricky Trees at arm’s length at the weekend, but he was quick to share the praise across the entire team when speaking with today.

“To get a clean sheet anywhere in the Championship, everyone has to be switched on – and we definitely were against Forest. I thought it started from the front and went all the way back to the goalkeeper, which will work the majority of the time. On Saturday I thought we defended perfectly as a team.

“The Head Coach stresses to us that attackers don’t just need to attack and defenders defend; we all need to do both jobs.”

Tommy was particularly pleased with the job that wingers Joe Lolley and Karim Matmour did in stopping the Forest full backs from marauding forward:

“They were brilliant, as that’s something the Head Coach wants. The wide men have done that well in numerous games and I thought Joe (Lolley) was brilliant defensively and offensively on Saturday. 

“Karim has come in and wants to hit the ground running; he’s not messing around. He’s come straight into the fold, started a couple of games and done OK. I’m sure he’ll keep developing the longer he plays and gets used to how we play and the English game in general.”

Town had endured a three game losing streak in the league ahead of last Saturday, but Smith explained there was never any talk of abandoning the style of play cultivated by Head Coach David Wagner.

“The Preston game stuck in the mind because of how we lost it in the last few minutes, but we’d been disappointed for a few weeks prior too. I felt the same after the Brighton game because I thought we deserved something out of it and the same could be said for Cardiff. 

“We’ve been playing good football even when the results haven’t been great and we know there’s something there to work with. 

“The Head Coach has said that to us numerous times. We don’t want to take shortcuts to win; we want to play a certain way, which he’s stressed from day one; the ideas he’s brought to the group have been brilliant. 

“We’ve been frustrated so to get the win, the clean sheet and the performance last Saturday was welcome. 

“I’m sure we would all have been a bit more worried if we’d been losing and playing poorly, but we’d been close. I think Saturday showed everyone that the results will come.”

Saturday’s game at home to Wolves will see Tommy face one of his best friends inside football; former Town teammate Conor Coady.

Smith admitted: “I speak to him quite often, as he’s one of my mates. He’s having a bit of an inconsistent time at Wolves, but that’s the nature of the Championship; it has happened to us, them and other teams. 

“It’ll be nice to see him on Saturday, but make no mistake – we won’t be friends this weekend!

“Everyone has to perform well in any game to get a result and it’ll be no different on Saturday. Before every game, the Captain (Mark Hudson) reminds us that it is a team effort and we can’t have any passengers. To win games and keep clean sheets, you have to be a team.”

Watch Town in home action on Saturday - click HERE for ticket info!

Advertisement block