Dundee United kid Matty Smith has a regular starting berth in his sights this campaign and is hoping a good showing at Elgin has impressed boss Csaba Laszlo enough to give him a chance in this weekend’s season opener.
Twenty-one-year-old Smith got his second start of the campaign in Saturday’s 4-0 Betfred Cup thumping of League Two Elgin and impressed, setting up Nicky Clark for the all-important opener.
And Smith reckons the two of them can build a good striking partnership, if they get the chance.
Smith said: “Nicky has lots of experience and talks right through the game, him going short, I go long and the opposite.
“It’s good to play with him and I think we linked up well together.
“I’ve not been playing up top much, been on the wing, so it was good to get a run-out up front on Saturday.
“That’s where I want to play. I think I’m a run-in-behind striker but I can play on the wing as well and wherever the manager wants me really.
“It was a good confidence booster at the start of the season for me to play 90 minutes.
“I’ll need to see how things go this week and, hopefully, I can get a start against Dunfermline.”
The Pars travel to Tannadice on the back of four wins from their Betfred Cup group campaign –including a 1-0 victory at Dens Park.
However, Smith says the Tangerines aren’t taking much notice of that as they concentrate on getting themselves ready for a testing Championship campaign.
He added: “We’re not scared. We’re only looking at us and how we play.
“After the weekend win I think we’re looking very confident.
“The boys put in a lot of good work in training through last week and we knew what we had to do – go out and get the win, work for each other and it paid off.
“The manager said at half-time we hadn’t hit the target enough in the first half and wanted us to get more attempts on goal.
“We came out and scored four goals which was good.
“We needed that win after the last couple of games where we’d got to the 80th minute at 1-0 and kind of let the foot off the pedal and allowed teams back in.
“Elgin was a good win, positive for the game on Saturday against Dunfermline and hopefully we get a victory then as well.”
United’s Betfred Cup campaign hasn’t gone nearly as well as the Pars’ with two home draws against Arbroath and Alloa, including two penalty shootout defeats, and a 1-0 loss at Ross County.
Smith, however, insists, despite results not going their way in the first three games of the season, that things aren’t nearly as bad behind the scenes as has been made out.
“It was good to get that first win. Obviously we’d been getting to the 80th minute ahead and then losing on pens isn’t the best but I expect us to kick on from here.
“We’re a great bunch of lads and we get on very well – Saturday we fought for each other and that’s what we need to do every game.
“It’s not as if we’re so far behind in games.
“We’ve been playing alright football and just needed to finish it off at the other end of the pitch – that’s the main objective at the moment, having more attacking threat.”
And Smith is hoping he can be part of that by adding goals of his own.
“I’m hoping to get more games up top myself, that would be really nice, but we’ll see how things go,” he added.
“I got three goals in the league and one in the cup – I want to beat that this time around.
“Hopefully, I’ll get more starts and then improve from there from last season.”