Tommy Smith returning early from international duty

Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith - Credit: Archant

TOMMY Smith is making an early return from international duty after his injury-time goal secured New Zealand a World Cup play-off place last week.

Smith’s last-gasp header sealed a 2-1 victory over New Caledonia in the early hours of last Friday morning, their record of five wins from five earning them a two-legged game against the side that finishes fourth in the CONCACAF (North America) region.

It means that there is no nothing riding on the All Whites’ final group game, away against the Soloman Islands tomorrow night, with coach Ricki Herbert resting some of his players for the dead rubber.

Smith this morning Tweeted: “In Dubai waiting for my flight to London. Wishing the lads all the best in Honiara. Make it a clean sweep boys!”

The 22-year-old’s early return from the southern hemisphere will please manager Mick McCarthy ahead of the Easter fixtures at home to Leeds and away at Millwall, particularly with loanee defender Patrick Kisnorbo unavailable to face his parent club.

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