Southend United's Paul Smith looks to flourish

Echo: On the ball - Paul Smith is hoping to build on his fine performance against Brentford at Griffin Park on Tuesday On the ball - Paul Smith is hoping to build on his fine performance against Brentford at Griffin Park on Tuesday

SOUTHEND United goalkeeper Paul Smith wants to build on his magnificent man of the match display against Brentford.

The experienced shot-stopper had made a shaky start to the season after signing on a free transfer.

But, on his return to Griffin Park on Tuesday night, Smith pulled off a dozen impressive displays during an eye-catching performance.

And the 32-year-old now wants to keep on playing well to help Blues get back to winning ways, starting on Saturday when Plymouth Argyle visit Roots Hall.

“I made a few saves in the game on Tuesday and I’ll certainly be asking for a copy of the DVD, which I’ll be watching a few times, but I was still disappointed because we lost the game,” said Smith.

“Winning matches is what we want to do and hopefully we can get a better result on Saturday because we want to get a win again in the league.”

Blues have lost their last three matches in League Two and were also beaten 2-1 by Brentford in the third round FA Cup replay.

Smith’s heroics in that game even saw him become the eighth most talked about topic on the social network website Twitter.

And he was particularly pleased to keep out Harry Forrester’s second half spot-kick, just seven days after boss Paul Sturrock had chosen to replace him with Daniel Bentley for a penalty shoot out at Oxford United.

“It just went to prove that I can save penalties,” said Smith.

“I was disappointed to come off at the time against Oxford because I wanted to stay out there and make the saves.

“But we have a good goalkeeping unit who all work hard and I think that’s been shown.”
Smith had been under pressure for his place from Bentley.

But Smith hinted that he felt criticism coming his way had been unfair.

“I’ve played well throughout my career and I’ve made good saves in games this season too,” said Smith. 

“I feel confident with the back four in front of me and they seemed happy with me on Tuesday as well, so hopefully we can build on this now and keep doing well to get some good results.”

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