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Smith has pledged to fill Ranger’s void
MICHAEL Smith says he is relishing the chance to lead Swindon Town’s push for a League One play-off place following Nile Ranger’s recent injury.
Ranger tore his hamstring during the goalless draw with Colchester United on February 14 and has been ruled out for the rest of the season, meaning Smith - who only joined Town from Charlton Athletic last month - will take on the mantle as the club’s target man for the remainder of the campaign.
Smith netted three goals in his first two games for the Robins but has not scored since the 1-1 draw at Walsall on January 28. Given his new responsibilities, however, he is desperate to get his teeth into the final 15 matches of the season.
“It’s everyone’s dream to be the main striker at a club,” he said. “It’s unfortunate for Nile and a big loss for us but I’ll relish it and I can’t wait to get going on Saturday.
“I’m raring to go again and get on the scoresheet, especially after Friday and the disappointment of that 0-0 draw.
“It is a tough league and anyone can beat anyone but the qualitay is there to be seen.”
Smith missed the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Peterborough United on Monday night, having been cup-tied, but he said the frustration has since dissipated from the dressing room and Town’s players are fully focused on beating high-flying Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road.
“Monday has gone now. We’ve got another chance to get to Wembley via the play-offs and that’s the main aim now,” he said. “Saturday would be a big scalp if we went there and got all three points, which I think we’re fully capable of doing.
“If you can’t get up for these kind of occasions against the sides at the top of the table then I don’t know what you can get up for. All the boys are ready to go on Saturday.”