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Smith Will Go To Wembley – Cotterill

Matt Smith may not be able to play for Bristol City at Wembley but Steve Cotterill wants the big striker to be part of his squad on the day.

The City manager has already spoken to officials at Fulham about allowing Smith – the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy’s top scorer this term with five goals – to travel to London with the team on the day.

Smith’s 93-day emergency loan ends on March 1st and can’t be extended further, meaning he won’t be eligible to face Walsall in the competition’s final at Wembley on March 22nd.

But Cotterill said: “We’ve already had conversations with Fulham. They’ll play on the Saturday that weekend, so we’d like Matt to come and be part of our travelling party on the Sunday and experience Wembley with us.

“It’s an unfortunate situation for Matt, albeit one he’s known about for a while. But I think he deserves to be with us for the final.”

Smith said: “It’s frustrating but I always knew I wouldn’t be able to play in the final.

“I’m delighted for the boys, they deserve the trip to Wembley and I’m sure it will be a great day for the club.

“The offer from the gaffer is great and I’m sure I’ll be cheering the lads on from the stand.”

Luke Freeman was named man of the match by Sky Sports in the 1-1 draw with Gillingham that clinched City’s final spot last night.

He said: “The big man has been brilliant since he’s come in; he’s been in great form.

“It’s a real shame he can’t play at Wembley but the gaffer has shown what a great man he is with his offer to bring Matt along with us for the game.”

City will face Walsall at Wembley on Sunday, March 22nd (3.30pm kick-off), with full ticket information due to be released next week.