Smith is just what we’re after, says Reds boss Johnson

Michael Smith in action for Swindon against Sheffield United at the weekend
Michael Smith in action for Swindon against Sheffield United at the weekend
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Barnsley boss Lee Johnson believes new signing Michael Smith is just what the club are looking for.

Swindon Town striker Smith joined the Reds on an initial four-month loan deal with the possibility of a permanent contract in the future if the move goes well.

Smith was arguably the most notable signing the Reds made on transfer deadline day, with Johnson desperate to bolster his attacking options.

“He’s a good player and someone we’ve tracked for a long time,” revealed Johnson.

“He’s not had a great start to the season if I’m being honest. That’s partly been down to the way Swindon play. He’s had to come off a lot and it’s not what we want from him.

“We want him to be an old-fashioned focal point for us up front.

“We’ve structured the loan deal in the way we have because we think there’s improvement in him.

“Myself, [assistant coach] Tommy Wright and my coaches believe we can improve him.

“If we can then I think he’ll be well worth the money we’re paying for him.

“He scored 18 goals last season and we need players like that who are prepared to get a shot off.”

“I’m really pleased to have got this one over the line. Michael will not only bring a great presence to our forward line but he also adds goals, too.

“He has all the attributes to complement what we already have here.

“I’m pleased to have secured his services on loan initially. I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Meanwhile, Johnson is looking forward to a welcome break from midweek games having seen his side tested to the limit in recent weeks with matches in the league, Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy to content with.

“I think we’ve played more minutes than anyone in the country this year, so it’s important we keep looking after the players,” stressed Johnson.

“We’re still learning. You can see at times we’re a little bit naive on the ball as well as off the ball.

“But we play well when we play with energy and, at times, Scunthorpe couldn’t live with us.

“There’s many positives from the win and I know this group will better and better, especially as we’re going into Saturday then Saturday games.”

Next up is a home clash with Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.