SWINDON Town loanee Tyler Smith revealed he asked to leave the County Ground back in January as a result of being frozen out by previous manager John Sheridan.

Smith – who is on a season-long loan from relegated Premier League side, Sheffield United – scored seven goals in 16 games before the turn of the year, at which point his presence in the team came to a shuddering halt.

The 22-year-old only played twice between December 29 and March 13 – away at Hull City and in the home win over Wigan Athletic – and appeared to have been forced to run out his loan without further game time.

But after three fleeting appearances off the substitute’s bench came and went without reward, Smith marked a triumphant return to the side with two goals in two starts versus AFC Wimbledon and Portsmouth, respectively.

Revealing what happened during a tumultuous January transfer window, Smith said: “I was looking to go elsewhere at the time, but for certain reasons that didn’t quite happen.

“I knew I’d be here for the rest of the season, which isn’t a problem, I just want to play. Wherever that is, whichever team in whichever league, I just wanted to play football.

“As a striker, and especially with the way I am, I want to play as many games as I can. When I’m not playing, I’m frustrated.

“It’s been a hard, frustrating few months for me – it’s not been easy at all – but I’m back and I’ve scored two on the bounce which I’m happy about.”

The Sheffield-born striker admitted his loan spell at SN1 has been far more difficult than he had hoped it would be, but paid tribute to his own mental strength for coming out the other side of what he called “a few tough times.”

Smith said: “It’s been tough, it’s been frustrating. I’ve not been in the team, I’ve not been playing. I’ve been fit for a while, but for whatever reason I’ve not been picked. But I’m here now, I’m playing and I’m scoring goals.

“Some people might have gone under and not been able to deal with it the way I have, which in my situation has helped me a lot.

“I’m a strong person and I can get through tough times. I’ve had a few tough times while I’ve been here, but me being me, I’ll always work hard and stay strong.

“You get out what you put in, and I’ve been working hard – that’s all I can keep doing.”