Smith injury will help to motivate team-mates in Barnet return

Coming face-to-face with Barnet so soon after Jonathan Smith’s horror injury against the same opponents will help to motivate the Hatters to get a result in his honour, writes Mark Wood.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 31st December 2013, 4:00 pm
Barnet v Luton Town, photos by Liam Smith. wk 52.
Barnet v Luton Town, photos by Liam Smith. wk 52.

The 27-year-old was left with a double break to his right leg following Jon Nurse’s late challenge that saw him sent off at the Hive on Boxing Day.

Young midfielder Matt Robinson, who has stepped into the breach, believes that incident will help to focus their minds on getting a result in Smith honour.

He said: “It will motivate the lads to go out and get a win. It’s not the same as any other game, but it’s going to be in the back of people’s minds.

“I think the most important thing is to play with a clear mind and just think about getting another result, getting another three points and staying top of the league.”

Experienced full-back Scott Griffiths believes he and his team-mates are professional enough to not let the incident affect them.

“I should hope not,” he said. “As much as we will be thinking of him I think we are all professional enough, in the nicest possible way, to put to one side anything we can’t effect such as that and get on with the game, get on with our jobs.”

Former Wales U21 international Jake Howells was equally practical about the fixture and hopes victory can help to buoy Smith’s recovery.

“It’s happened and it happens in football and it’s a horrible, horrible thing to happen, but the boys have stuck together and we want to do it for Smudge,” he said.

“And obviously today’s performance was for Smudge and we hope he gets better soon. We want to let him recover the way he wants to recover and he’ll be back sooner than anyone knows.

“He does what he needs to do and we’ve got to help him mentally more than anything. If we keep getting performances that’s what will help Smudge.”

First team coach Hakan Hayrettin admitted the Smith’s injury had hit them hard at the Hive and, despite their victory there, they would not be taking anything for granted.

He said: “They gave us a good game. I think it took the wind out of our sails a bit what happened with Smudger at half time.

“But we’re professionals, we’ve had to conduct ourselves the right way to go and get the three points and we did that and we want to go and beat Barnet again.”

Neither Griffiths nor Howells believes having played the Bees just a few days prior will affect them either.

Griffiths said: “No not at all, we treat each game as the last one. We work on what we work on, we let our fitness show through, we pass it when we can.

“I don’t think we let when the games are or who we’re playing against faze us, we just do what we’ve got to do.

“We just play and let that speak for itself.”

And there would be no complacency according to Howells, who added: “I don’t think so, I think the boys go out there and you play what you’ve got to play against.

“You don’t go out there and think, we played them a few weeks ago, we’ll beat them, it’s not like that.

“The boys will go out there and every game is different and if we get three points that’s what we’ll try and do.”