They’re out to get you, Matt
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date online: 19 February 2013
New-found fame will bring tougher marking
MATT Smith is in line to start at Stevenage a marked man tonight.
The 23 year old has gained a world fan following with his scoring exploits in FA Cup ties against Liverpool and Everton.
Caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk could start with Smith in the side after his dramatic late entry as a sub on Saturday.
But with fame comes attention of the wrong kind, says Philliskirk: defenders will work hard on strategies to stop him.
"Matt is confident and riding the wave of emotion at the moment with everyone saying nice things about him," said Philliskirk, who made Smith a sub against the Toffees. The player had been out for three weeks with a shoulder injury.
"We make no bones about it. We threw on Matt against Everton, they sat deep and we slung it into the box and played off second balls. It is the unpredictability of that type of play that Everton wasn’t used to.
"The true test of Matt comes now. The exposure he has had means opponents will identify him. He has to go to the next level.
But Philliskirk's assistant, Paul Gerrard, feels Smith is becoming more aggressive in the fight in the air.
"He is attacking the ball now," said Gerrard. “He was quite timid when he came and was jumping from a standing start.
"Now he has that bit of belief and purpose. When you are that size there’s no stopping him."
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