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"I'm proud to wear the armband for me and my family"

Jimmy Smith on return to the side in Notts County programme interview

18 September 2017

“Getting that first win under my belt as well as scoring and getting assists was great for me and the team after being out for a while.”

Jimmy Smith talked to Alex Stedman in Saturday's programme for the visit of Notts County about returning from injury, working hard, the armband, changing room antics, life after football and more.

It’s safe to say everybody is delighted to have Jimmy Smith back in the side, following his injury lay-off.

It has been a frustrating pre-season and start to the campaign for the skipper, who had been recovering from an injury sustained at the end of last season.

Despite his returning leadership qualities, we have been immediately reminded of his quality through goals and assists.

Smith also reclaimed the armband from a more than ample deputy in Dannie Bulman, and the 30-year old is pleased with his return to fitness.

“Getting that first win under my belt as well as scoring and getting assists was great for me and the team after being out for a while,” Smith emphasised.

“Having the armband back and coming back into the side showed the faith that the gaffer had in me.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted and I’m proud to wear the armband for myself and my family, but like the boss has said before he wants 11 captains out there with everyone leading and talking to each other; it’s a team thing and not about one individual.”

Something that comes religiously alongside a squad captained by Smith, are team huddles.

The former Leyton Orient man enjoys light hearted banter with the team but is still very much keen on hard work, focus and concentration; something he echoes in his huddles.

“We talk about all the stuff that’s been said in the changing rooms really; about starting well, our game plan, making sure that everyone is up for it and communication during the game, keeping our shape and obviously being positive.”

“Bully’s (Bulman) got a bit of banter! He likes to joke around from time to time and he’s funny, but to be fair most of the time he’s quite serious especially at training as we’re working hard every day so everyone is concentrating.

“We work hard all the time, even on our days off we sometime get given work to do at home, for example we’ll take home heart monitors to use during our runs.”

Smith believes this effort and application is visible on the pitch, even if some of the results haven’t gone the right way.

“It shows about our fitness in games when we come to the 60th/70th minute mark some teams start to fade whereas I think you can see in games, even if we lose we can go another gear.

“But we’ve got to start games well, we can’t be going behind early, so we’ve got to concentrate on that more because we know we’ve got that in the tank if we need it.

“We’re flexible within our shape, we’ve got people that can play anywhere, we’ve got pace and power, good delivery in all sorts of situations throughout the team so like I said I do feel we’re looking strong.”

We asked Bulman in an interview last week how he feels about the possibility of going into coaching once he retires, so we thought we’d ask Smith too!

“Still a bit too far ahead I think!

“It’s something I have thought about a little bit, I used to go back to Chelsea a bit on a Thursday afternoon when I had a bit of time off to do coaching with the academy so I do have quite good links if I wanted to go down that route but my main focus is still on playing at the moment.”

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