Tommy: The kids are alright

TOMMY Smith is adamant Ipswich Town's young chargers can do a man's job in the first round of the Carling Cup at League Two Shrewsbury Town tonight.

Elvin King

TOMMY Smith is adamant Ipswich Town's young chargers can do a man's job in the first round of the Carling Cup at League Two Shrewsbury Town tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).

It will be a much weaker side that takes the field at the Pro-Star Stadium than the one that was beaten 2-1 by Coventry in the opening weekend of the Coca-Cola Championship season with most of Sunday's side not travelling to Shropshire.

Smith, 19, is expected to be make his third senior start, and he says that any inexperience in the team will be balanced out by a desire to impress manager Roy Keane.


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“Hopefully I will be involved tonight, and this is the opportunity that a lot of us have been waiting for,” said Smith, who suffered a bad ankle break in August last year.

“There's a lot of quality in our squad, and those who get a chance will be hungry and desperate to do well.”

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Smith knows that whatever side takes the field Ipswich will start favourites with Shrewsbury thirsting to achieve some giant-killing action.

“Every time you play a team from a lower league you run the risk of becoming a big scalp,” he added.

“Shrewsbury will be desperate to beat us but as long as we go into the game without any complacency and match them for effort, hopefully our quality will shine through.

“The Carling Cup may not be the club's top priority but every time you go out to play you go out to win.

“You're always trying to do well for yourself, as well as the team - and this is opportunity too good to miss for a number of us.

“If we do well enough we can put ourselves in the frame for Saturday's league game at home to Leicester City.”

Smith was born in Macclesfield, but spent time living in Auckland, New Zealand. He played for the Kiwis at national schoolboy level and represented England in the Under-18 World Cup in Korea in September 2007.

He has not given any thoughts to where his international priorities lie, wishing to concentrate on his club football.

He went on: “Every season is big and throughout pre-season the players were looking to improve and impress the manager.

“I was no different and now it's as though I'm waiting in the wings for my chance.

“I'm definitely up for it and ready to the manager what I can do.”

Smith played in the first and final games of last term, and has fully recovered from his ankle break.

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