BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Millwall manager Neil Harris says the capture of Matt Smith from QPR does not mean that his side will adopt a route one approach.
The Lions confirmed the signing of the 30-year-old late this afternoon.
Targetman Smith is the fourth addition of the close season after the arrivals of defender Alex Pearce and Frank Fielding – with Wimbledon’s Tyler Burey an addition to the club’s development set-up.
Harris said: “Matt is a player we’ve chased for a long time, someone we’ve been linked with even before my reign.
“The reason the club has been attracted to him for some time is his style of play, he’s about the best there is out there at this level at attacking the ball aerially.
“He’s a big man at 6’6’’ who thrives off balls into the box, and you know he’s a handful when you’ve got players telling you he’s the toughest aerial opponent they’ve played against.”
“What’s also important is that he’s a clever player. He might not have the pace of the likes of Jed Wallace, but he excels in the departments we’re looking for from him, he’s good with the ball at his feet and can link the play.
“Matt gives us an option with Steve Morison leaving, and with question marks over other players’ futures, so he’s important for us.
“It’s not the case whatsoever that now we’re just going to lump the ball up to Matt. We want to play as well – we showed that in patches last season – and we spoke openly about system changes. It’s important to have different varieties of personnel, and Matt certainly gives us that. He gives us the option to move the ball forward and play around second balls, and to deliver crosses into the box with his presence.”
“The nature of the window in the Championship won’t change. Regarding ourselves, we’ve paid what is in my opinion a sensible fee for Matt, and we’re still looking to bring more players in.
“Matt’s a proven Championship goalscorer, and the three players we’ve brought in so far represent a spine of experience. Not only have they all played 200-300 games at this level, they’re also top pros.
“With some of the younger players working their way into the team, they need guidance from excellent pros, and Matt – alongside Alex Pearce and Frank Fielding – certainly provides that.”