DAN THE FAN: Michael is money well spent

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: DAN THE FAN: Michael is money well spent DAN THE FAN: Michael is money well spent

MICHAEL Smith has enjoyed a superb start to life at Town, with a brace on his debut against Shrewsbury and the equaliser at Walsall on Tuesday.

Whether it’s your first day at a new job or meeting the in-laws for the first time, first impressions are important in every aspect of life, and Smith has introduced himself in style.

Without heaping too much pressure on such young shoulders, he looks an absolute steal at just £200,000.

For League One level he seems to tick all the boxes.

Ever since Charlie Austin moved into the Championship in January 2011, the club hasn’t found a consistent goal scorer. Alan Connell, Paul Benson, James Collins, Andy Williams and Adam Rooney all reached double figures, but never come close to the partnership built between Billy Paynter and Austin. Hopefully Smith is the striker we’ve been looking for.

With just a couple of days left of the transfer window it looks like any activity at the County Ground will involve players leaving.

Despite his dip in form, I was surprised to read that Dany N’Guessan had been touted to different clubs. His record of eight goals in 23 appearances is a decent return for a wide man.

Another name linked with a move away is forgotten man Lee Cox. The midfielder signed by Paolo Di Canio has never found a firm footing at the club, I hope for the sake of his career that he can find a new club soon.

It’s looking like Alex Pritchard will be staying until the end of the season.

With the likes of Leicester and Huddersfield scouting the young midfielder recently, his time here looked to be coing to an end, but it will be good for him and the club to know he will be around at least until the summer.

A new centre back should be top of Town’s wanted list.

Saturday’s team performance against Shrewsbury was one of the worst at the County Ground this season, but thanks to two late goals the woeful defending went under the radar.

With Raphael Rossi Branco still an infant in the Football League, Grant Hall out for two months and Troy Archibald-Henville still not fully fit, a new centre half on loan or permanently is essential.

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