STRIKER Michael Smith hopes four goals in the first two games of the new season will go a long way in helping him win over his detractors amongst the Swindon Town fanbase.
Smith, a January signing from Charlton Athletic, scored twice in five second-half minutes on Tuesday night to give Town a 2-1 win at Luton Town in the Capital One Cup, little more than 72 hours after firing a brace in his side’s opening-day League One victory over Scunthorpe United.
The goals have taken Smith’s tally for the Robins to 12 from 22 appearances, a strike rate of better than a goal every other game, and he’s hopeful that those bare facts will encourage some of the supporters who quickly turned on him towards the end of last season to ease up and give him a chance.
“I don’t really pay attention to what people say,” Smith told the Advertiser. “As long as the manager’s happy with me and the lads - that’s all that matters. It’s nice to get the good comments off the fans but I just ignore the negative ones.
“I’m quite a strong character and I believe in my own ability. If I keep playing well I know that the goals will come. Hopefully that will turn the haters. I understand it, I’m a football fan myself and I get frustrated watching it. Hopefully I’ll change their minds.”
Smith sits atop the Football League’s top scorers’ table in all competitions following his midweek brace and, when asked whether he could have had a better start to the campaign he said: “Not at all. Maybe two hat-tricks would have done but four in two’s left me quite happy. I was a bit aggrieved (to be substituted on Saturday) but I could understand it with Tuesday in mind. It’s worked, I’ve got another two (against Luton) and I’m chuffed with that.”
Given how quickly he has come out of the traps in 2014/15 it is perhaps unsurprising that Coventry City have shown interest in the striker, with Town chairman Lee Power claiming to have rejected two bids for the player. Peterborough United are also understood to have contemplated a move for the 22-year-old but Smith is content with life in Wiltshire.
“It’s always nice to have interest in you but I’m a Swindon player, I’m at Swindon Town and I just want to concentrate on them,” he said.
“I’m happy here, I’m getting on well with all the lads, we’re a great bunch so I want to stay.”