BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Matt Smith reckons Millwall will be a frightening proposition from set-pieces next season.
The six-foot six-inches tall striker signed for the Lions on Monday.
And Smith says that he and fellow collossus Jake Cooper, who scored five times last season, can terrorise defences. The former QPR, Fulham and Leeds targetman got 13 goals in a four-month loan spell with Bristol City in the 2014-15 campaign – with centre-back Aden Flint netting 15.
“A third of the goals in the Championship are scored from set-pieces and I don’t think you can underestimate the importance of it,” said Smith. “When you add me into the equation at Millwall then I don’t think many sides are going to want to concede set-pieces.
“I think we’ll be a force to be reckoned with in that department. And that also crucially means defending our own box as well.
“Myself and Jake reminds me a little bit of the relationship I had with Aden Flint – he was six-foot six – and we scored a lot of goals at Bristol.
“Strikers should always keep their targets close to their chest in terms of a goal tally. For me it is about improving, impacting and contributing to the team.”
There is a stat that Smith has scored the highest amount of headed goals in the Championship in the last three seasons – 13.
“When I say he is the best in the business at what he does then the stats prove that,” said Millwall manager Neil Harris. “He is the best in the business in both penalty areas, defensively and attacking-wise, first contacts and goals.
“Matt is a player we are really pleased to get at a real nominal fee.
“It is really sensible business. We have got players who want to cross the ball – Jed Wallace, Shane Ferguson and Jiri Skalak. If they are going to do that you need some players in the middle who are going to make first contacts.
“We saw Matt’s qualities at The Den last season. He didn’t find the net because of a couple of good saves by Dave Martin.
“I want us to get the ball up the box by playing through the thirds or we’ll go more direct against certain opposition.
“If you put balls in the box then you are naturally going to win set-plays and we showed how effective we could be last season with that, especially in the FA Cup.”