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Matt Smith settling in at Bristol

last updated Wednesday 31st December 2014, 5:42 PM

Fulham striker Matt Smith
Matt Smith
Matt Smith
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Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill insists loan signing Matt Smith has become an integral member of his first team squad.

Although his opportunities were limited when he first arrived from Fulham in November, Smith has had ample opportunity to demonstrate his worth over the busy Christmas period.

Required to start games against Yeovil and Gillingham in the injury-enforced absence of Aaron Wilbraham and Kieran Agard, striker Smith opened his City goal-scoring account on Boxing Day and helped himself to a double at Priestfield on Sunday.

Short of fitness after sitting out the first three months of the season at Fulham following his summer move from Leeds United, Smith has played a more prominent role in recent weeks and showed signs at Gillingham that he is approaching full fitness and top form.

"Matt was only good for about 35 minutes when he first came to us and that is why we used him off the bench," explained Cotterill.

"That then became 45 minutes and then 65 as he got more game-time under his belt. But he is a big lad at 6ft 5in and it takes time for someone with a frame like his to get fully fit after so long not playing.

"We cannot all of a sudden, just because he's played 90 minutes, kid ourselves that he is up to speed. There is a lot more to come from him."

Source A Stockhausen at Bristol Post
Since 1998
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