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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Sunday, March 31st 2019

Smith 'delighted' to return with victory

Korey Smith made his mark on his return to the pitch after a seven-month absence.

He played a key role in City’s engine room as they fought back to defeat Sheffield United 3-2 at Bramall Lane yesterday (March 30th).

Smith had missed the majority of the season with a knee injury but was selected for a first team place in Yorkshire.

“I’m buzzing, I’m delighted to be back,” Smith told BCTV after the full-time whistle. “It was a long, lonely seven months, with a few set backs on my way. I got my head down, worked as hard as I could to try and be back before the end of the season.

“I got back for Saturday’s game. I had only played 60 minutes for the Under-23s! I’ve only been in training for a few weeks but the Gaffer trusted he could chuck me into this one. He wanted my leadership, to break up the play and I was delighted to be out there and get the win.”

City’s number seven says he was surprised to feature but had been working hard to ensure he could still play his part before the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

To be back in time for the run-in, he said, is largely down to those who have helped him on his journey to recovery.

He said: “It was surprise [to be back] for everyone, for me and the boys but the Gaffer showed a lot of faith in me. The players trust me too and have said I have looked sharp in training. It was a brilliant one to come back into and I want to thank the fans.

“As soon as I got off the coach they were singing my name, in the warm up, throughout they have supported me and that’s helped me. I want to thank everyone,: the physio department, the masseurs, sports scientists for getting me back out there.”

He added: “I’m delighted to be back out there and we have nine big games to go!”

With the number of remaining Sky Bet Championship fixtures now into single figures, next up for City is an away trip to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night before a home clash against Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

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