Jeff Smith - Radio Cumbria Interview

Last updated : 08 January 2008 By Thetashkentterror

Jeff Smith
United midfielder Jeff Smith spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria on Friday evening as he talked about the home game coming up against his old club Port Vale tomorrow, Smith also chatting about the form of Carlisle's top goalscorer Joe Garner :

" I'm very much looking forward to the game tomorrow, after the game against Hartlepool on Tuesday the lads are looking forward to it and hopefully another good result. There is a good chance I will be playing but I can't tell you whether I am or not just incase anyone from Port Vale is listening in because I know that they travelled down earlier, so we'll just leave it for tomorrow.

" I very much enjoyed my time at Port Vale, it was the team who gave me my chance after I left Bolton where I didn't play many first-team games. They gave me a chance to play regular first-team football so I was grateful for that and I have fond memories of playing there.

" I had no fall-out whatsoever when I left, I was enjoying my football there at the time, it was just when you have been at a club for a few years things do tend to get a bit stale. An opportunity to come back up to the North-East and play for Carlisle was too good to miss really.

" I've spoken to a few of my former team-mates but to be honest there have been a lot of changes since I left. A lot of players have left and there are only a handful of players in the squad now who were there when I was there and obviously the manager has gone now. I spoke to the assistant manager Dean Glover yesterday so he was wishing me all the best but not too much.

" When you are training with your own defenders day-in and day-out you possibly know their weaknesses as well and their strengths. So it's pretty much a good battle between the two players because you probably know each other's game inside out. It's a bit of a thinking game after that and makes for good watching. "

" Definitely without a shadow of a doubt I've been underperforming, I can't quite put my finger on it why. I think that any footballer who goes through a bad spell they don't know why, it just seems to happen, if they could put their finger on it they'd only have one bad game and then the next game would be a brilliant one. So it's just one of those things that happens to footballers at times and unfortunately it has happened to me this season but hopefully I've turned the corner now and I can try to reproduce what I was doing last season.

" To come on and score with pretty much my second touch against a former club like Hartlepool as well was very nice. It gave us the onus to take on in the game and win 4-2 in the end so I was very pleased. It gave me a bit more confidence which I was lacking so hopefully I can take it on from there.

" With Port Vale being one of my former clubs it's disappointing to see them at the bottom but you don't turn into a bad player overnight. I don't know for whatever reason they are down there, whether they are underachieving or I don't know what might be going on so I'm not too sure. They've got good enough players in the squad though to get themselves out of it and hopefully they can do that, but not tomorrow.

" It was a very nice goal for me at Doncaster last season, I don't know how it didn't win goal of the season but you'd better ask Joe Garner that because he nicked it off me which I wasn't happy with last year. Hopefully though I can try to emulate that if I get a chance at Doncaster which will be a very difficult game because they are slowly creeping up the league unnoticed pretty much. You know they have got a good squad so that will be a good game to go to.

" He (Joe Garner) is very good, obviously he's still only 19 and he's still learning the game. The lad shows no fear really, he hadn't played many first-team games at Blackburn, he didn't play any and he came to Carlisle to play those games and he's grasped every thing he has played. He's a handful for defenders, no-one knows about him, he's raw, I think a lot of managers know about him now because they know how dangerous he is with him being up there in the top scorers.

" He's a great player, he's not the finished article by any means but he is definitely going to be one for the future. He's the same off the field as well, with the joking in the changing-room and things like that. He never gives up, he's always trying to get one over someone, he did me the other day, I won't tell you what he did but if he's listening then he'll be paying the price soon. "