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Fighting fit Smith raring to go

Korey Smith is relishing the prospect of beginning 2017/18 injury-free.

The midfielder endured a stop-start campaign last term, but started City’s last 14 games of the season.

Perhaps it was no coincidence that the team’s fortunes improved in that time, as Lee Johnson’s side picked up 22 points to secure their Sky Bet Championship status with a week to spare.

Fully refreshed after a summer break, Smith is determined to pick up where he left off to ensure he does not have to wait until next spring to reproduce his best form.

“I didn’t get a proper pre-season last year, so I’m just very happy to be back from the first day,” he told BCTV.

“Fingers crossed I can stay injury-free through pre-season and have a good year.

“In the last few months of last season my ankle started feeling a lot better and I got my longest run of games, which was nice, and obviously we did really well as a team.

“That’s a big confidence builder coming into the new season."

“I didn’t get a proper pre-season last year, so I’m just very happy to be back from the first day."

Korey Smith

Smith’s excitement for the new season was boosted by the arrival of two fresh additions to the squad last week.

Italian defender Eros Pisano arrived from Verona, while club-record signing Famara Diédhiou has been recruited from French club Angers SCO.

“At the beginning you try not to concentrate on it, but over the last couple of weeks I’ve been looking at all the rumours to see what’s going on!” Smith added.

“Eros has been with us since the first day back, so it was really nice to meet him and he seems like a good guy. He looks like a tough player as well – he put in a couple of strong tackles!

“We haven’t met Famara yet because of international duty but the club has shown real intent with his signing and I’m sure he’ll be a good addition for the new season.

“I haven’t seen him play much but he’s obviously been doing well in France to earn that fee, so that can only be a good thing for the rest of the boys.”