Smith doubt for FA Cup clash
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 12 February 2013
GOAL hero Matt Smith is fightingto get fit for this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Everton.
The 6ft 6in striker terrorised the Liverpool defence in Athletic’s dramatic victory over Liverpool - but hasn’t played since.
After scoring twice to dump the Merseyside club out of the competition, current club player of the month Smith jarred his shoulder and suffered cartilage damage.
“Matt is working closely with physio Jon Guy,” said caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk this morning.
“As we stand, Matt hasn’t joined training yet.
“The fact he hasn’t trained or played since Liverpool has to be taken into consideration as we will need everyone involved in the Everton game to be firing on all cylinders.”
Robbie Simpson is in a similar situation. Though his hamstring injury was only a small tear, he too has yet to resume full training.
Though Athletic may be without both the main FA Cup heroes, loan strike duo Chris Iwelumo and Lee Barnard are eligible to play Everton on Saturday evening.
Another dilemma facing Philliskirk is whether to include veteran defender Cliff Byrne.
The centre-back was initially going to be rested only for last week’s postponed Yeovil game.
But replacement James Tarkowski is a player the caretaker boss clearly rates and after impressing against MK Dons, the 20-year-old may retain his spot.
TODAY was the last opportunity for season ticket holders to but tickets for the Everton game on Saturday (6pm kick-off).
All remaining tickets for the Boundary Park tie go on open sale from tomorrow at 9am.
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