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‘Another nobody’ – Plenty of Leeds fans were not impressed with this Brian McDermott signing

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After a disappointing campaign that Brian McDermott was in charge of for the conclusion,  the 2013/14 season was expected to be different.

As with every year with Leeds United, there is an expectation to improve and challenge for promotion to the Premier League. 

Any player that walks through the door at Elland Road faces instant scrutiny of their credentials to aid the Whites to their ultimate goal of returning to the top flight.

And so when this June 2013 signing was made, little joy or expectation surrounded the move.

Matt Smith arrived from Oldham Athletic on a two-year deal and was McDermott’s first capture of the summer ahead of what was hoped would be a successful campaign.

What was anything but hopeful, however, was the welcome the striker received from the club’s supporters.

It was safe to say plenty of the Leeds support were not overly enamoured with the arrival of the would-be target man.

But that perception would eventually change over time.

Smith scored two headers in his first game for Leeds in a pre-season friendly abasing Farsley.

He made his league debut for the Whites as a substitute in the first game of the season against Brighton, registering an assist for Luke Murphy’s 94th-minute winner.

Four games later on August 27, 2013, he managed to score his first goal for the club in the League Cup win over Doncaster Rovers.

That would set the tone for what was an impressive campaign for the striker, amidst the derisory welcome he received from many of the club’s fans.

An able partner for Ross McCormack, the pair struck up a fairly positive combination up top.

Smith would score 13 goals in all competitions during the 2013/14 season, including one against Millwall in March 2014.

As well as his ten-plus goal exploits, the forward managed six assists too, but between him and McCormack, the club finished down in 15th place despite the promise that had initially manifested at the start of the season.

Having had a less than favourable introduction, Smith was linked with Premier League side Crystal Palace six-months after moving to Leeds, insisting he was ignoring the speculation.

And even at the conclusion of the campaign, Leeds rejected a bid from Millwall for the powerful striker who held a keen interest after his season at Elland Road.

But all that interest from two London clubs would result in a third and an eventual departure after one season in Yorkshire.

Having signed a new deal in the middle of August 2014, with him entering his final year, three weeks later Smith was sold.

On September 1, 2014, Fulham signed the striker for a fee believed to be around £800,000.

It was an impressive season to prove the doubters wrong, and after such a year where he was largely impressive, there was bound to be interest from other clubs, and that was soon apparent with his move to Fulham materialising.

From an underwhelming entrance to a departure that was hard to take, Smith certainly changed the minds of many of the Leeds fans and their initial reaction would soon prove to be naive after his impressive debut – and only – season with the club.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Another nobody’ – Plenty of Leeds fans were not impressed with this Brian McDermott signing

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