Matt Smith feels a pre-season full of hard work on shape and organisation is why Fulham have enjoyed an excellent start to the new season.
The tall striker told Get West London after Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Leeds that he doesn’t mind being used as an old fashioned ‘battering ram’ up front and the difference between his obvious physical strength and the sharper, more fluent football that Fulham have played in the first few weeks of the season is one of the reasons that opponents find it difficult to play against Slavisa Jokanovic’s side.
We’ve had a well organised pre-season in the sense that we’ve worked a lot on team shape. We are starting to look very much like a team now. We are very organised and everyone is very aware of their responsibilities. I think that is showing.
Smith has said that last season, where he scored just twice in 20 appearances, was one of the most frustrating of his career but he is enjoying the challenge of leading the line – and has already matched last term’s goal tally just a fortnight into the new campaign.
I am enjoying it. I’ve got plenty of terrific footballers in front of me and I’m the sort of battering ram looking to get on the end of things. It is nice to have a mix because it can be a bit all too predictable if everyone is in the same mould so to speak. I like to think I can provide something different to the team and so far it has worked well.
Fulham were frustrated not to leave Elland Road with all three points after dominating the contest but conceding a stoppage time equaliser to Chris Wood. Smith felt the visitors were the stronger side but paid for not making the most of their chances – including when he hit the post with a second-half header.
We played some good football and I thought we were the better team. It could have been different had we stuck away our chances because we hit the post twice and were in a couple of good positions as well. Overall I think we have got to be pleased with our performance and take heart from it. There is plenty to build on going into Cardiff on Saturday.