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I'll Still Feel Like A City Player - Smith

Matt Smith is hoping to deliver a farewell present to the Bristol City fans as he prepares to bow out of Ashton Gate tomorrow (3pm).

The big striker has proved a towering presence in more ways than one since arriving on loan from Fulham at the end of November, chalking up 13 goals in 20 appearances.

Now he wants one more for the collection as a parting gift to the club he says will still be a part of him for the remainder of the season.

“That’s the aim – to sign off with a good performance and hopefully a goal or two. That would be fantastic if it happens,” Smith told Bristol City Player ahead of the visit of Rochdale to Ashton Gate.

“I came in after a couple of months without any game time and a bit dejected from that point of view, but in the three months here I’ve got my sharpness back and the confidence from scoring plenty of goals.

“Part of me will still feel like a Bristol City player having been so heavily involved for the past few months, so obviously after my games I’ll still be keeping an eye out for the results.

“When I joined we were top of the league and we still will be when I leave. It’s a great feeling and hopefully the lads can finish off the job now.”

So highly valued has been the contribution of Smith that manager Steve Cotterill wants him to join up with the squad again for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final against Walsall at Wembley on March 22nd.

It hardly seems a big enough prize having scored all five of City’s goals over the two-legged area final with Gillingham, but it is an offer the 25-year-old is delighted to accept after FIFA rules dictated his loan could not be extended beyond 93 days.

“It’s a very tight-knit group and the team spirit is second to none,” Smith added. “I feel a big part of it and credit to the boys for making me feel that way.

“It’s a lovely gesture from the manager to invite me for the day and I’ll be happy to join the squad, obviously with the permission of Fulham, and I look forward to what will hopefully be a good day out.”

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