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This Is Where I Want To Be - Smith

Korey Smith says he always wanted his long-term future to be at Ashton Gate.

The 25-year-old was entering the final contract of his deal at Bristol City before putting pen to paper on a new three-year deal.

And Smith – speaking in an exclusive interview with Bristol City Player HD – insists it was never in his mind to leave.

He said: “I’m delighted. We’ve been in talks for a little while now.

“This is where I want to be; I always wanted to stay and I’m buzzing to put pen to paper.”

Smith also paid tribute to head coach Lee Johnson, who signed him permanently at Oldham Athletic in 2013, before being reunited with the midfielder at Ashton Gate in February.  

The Hatfield-born star added: “The gaffer showed a lot of faith in me when he took me to Oldham, and now he’s shown belief in me here by rewarding me with a new contract.

“I’m very grateful for everything that he has done for me and hopefully I can repay that now.”

Smith’s next task is returning to full fitness, having undergone an ankle operation in April.

He is suspended for the club’s opening day game of 2016/17 against Wigan Athletic at Ashton Gate on Saturday, August 6th due to his red card at Blackburn Rovers last season.

But that doesn’t stop Smith from targeting City’s next game, in the EFL Cup, for his comeback.

“In the final three months of last season I was affected by the injury. I wasn’t doing too much training just to ensure I could play in the matches,” he said.

“It worked out because we stayed up. I had my operation at the end of the season and now I’m in doing my rehabilitation.

“I’m taking my time to make sure it’s right for the season. I want to be fit for the Wycombe game (August 9th) because obviously I’m suspended for the opening day.

“However, it’s important everything is right and I’ll work with the medical team to ensure I’m fully fit and ready to go.

“The lads are all out doing their running, but I don’t feel my sessions have been any easier! I’ve been in the gym, I’ve been doing some gruelling bike sessions and I’ve also been in the pool for swimming.

“I’d definitely rather be out there running with the lads but it is what it is.”

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