Standing at 6’6”, Millwall’s Matt Smith knows he can’t hide from his ‘big man’ label.

The forward is also aware that he isn’t every manager’s 'cup of tea.'

Neil Harris however, favouring a focal point to lead his ‘new-look’ Lions outfit, saw the former QPR, Leeds, Fulham and Oldham man as the perfect solution and finally got the 30-year-old to The Den after 18-months of trying.

Kick-starting the current season with an impressive display alongside Aiden O’Brien in the 1-0 win over Preston on Saturday, Smith is aware of the ‘dinosaur’ label the target man has in the modern game.

“A ‘target-man’ like me, you can be a bit love hate, they are a dying breed in modern day football,” Smith said.

“With the influx of foreign managers to play a certain way, I think the ‘old school’ little ‘n’ large combo is a dying philosophy.

“It’s not to say it's not an effective one, you only have to look at the Preston performance to see that it can be effective.”

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Millwall's striker discusses his debut in Preston North End win

Smith endured a turbulent time at QPR last season, falling out of then manager Steve McClaren’s plans to play a bit part role at the start of the campaign.

Starting just eleven games in all competitions, he turned his season’s fortunes around after Christmas scoring seven times, making the most of player injuries to take his chance in the line-up.

“You get managers that love me and equally you get managers that are open, like I was at QPR that I wasn't their cup of tea.

“It's nothing personal, it is just the type of player that I am, modern day strikers you tend to only play with one and that one has to have a bit of both.

“I know what my limitations are and what my strengths are and I have come into an environment that they know my strengths and as a player that's all you want.

“But certainly in modern day football, managers that operate in that way are getting less and less, I think personally.”

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Despite admitting that his style of play may not be what many managers want, the forward who’s made 186 appearances and scored 42 times in the second tier believes he has nothing to prove at that level, yet admitted he still sets himself the same target each season.

“I think if my performances weren't up to scratch then I would have been out of the Championship long before this seventh season!”

“It would be foolish of me to say any target out loud, it’s the kiss of death for any striker.

“Season on season is about improving.

“You always look about your best goals return and you want to try and top that, if the aim of the game is not about having the best season that you have ever had then why are you here?”

Millwall travel to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.


'Nervy? I wasn't ' - Neil Harris buoyed by Millwall's win over Preston North End