Millwall fans have been pleading with Gary Rowett to give further chances to Matt Smith following his impact off the bench in their victory over Reading on Saturday.
The former Leeds United and QPR frontman has been restricted to just five Championship starts this season – with the most recent of those coming more than two months ago against Derby.
Prior to the game at the Madejski Stadium, Smith had been on the pitch for just 11 minutes combined in the Lions’ previous five league outings, although with Millwall trailing the Royals yesterday, he was introduced by Rowett for the final 27 minutes.
Quiz: Did each of these 18 ex-Millwall players ever score a goal at the New Den?
And less than 15 minutes remaining in Berkshire, the big striker latched onto Tom Bradshaw’s through pass before confidently firing home into the top-corner for his third Championship goal of the season and fifth in all competitions.
It means that despite playing the fewest minutes, Smith has scored more times than any other of Millwall’s strikers, and with Kenneth Zohore picking up a knock against Reading, might be in the frame of a rare start when Rowett’s team host Birmingham City at The Den on Tuesday evening.
Here’s how The Den faithful reacted to Smith’s performance on Saturday:
Zohore injured, Parrott gone, JDB very poor, and we’ve now gone to two up front. Can we please start Matt Smith now? #Millwall
— Conor Ludlow (@LudlowConor) February 14, 2021
Matt Smith > Ken Zohore #millwall
— Terry (@TerryS1977) February 13, 2021
WHAT A WIN!! Matt Smith scores goals btw
— Millwall Analysis (@MillwallAnalyt1) February 13, 2021
I understand the reason why Smith don't start because he is not mobile enough. But he scores, so who cares?
— Smiffy (@SmiffyMillwall) February 13, 2021
Matt Smith 😍
— JP (@JPMillwall) February 13, 2021
Get in. Smith SCORES GOALS.
— TT (@MillwallTT) February 13, 2021
Ur professionalism is second to none… always give 100% when u come off bench … give this man more games and a nice juicy new contract 🙌🦁
— Angelo Milioto (@m112oto) February 13, 2021
Quality Smudger. Offer this man a new contract Millwall ⚽️
— Mick Clements (@MFCMickC) February 13, 2021