First Team

Smith backs Washington to fire

16th July 2019

Michael Smith has backed his international teammate Conor Washington to bang in the goals as the striker settles in to his new surroundings.

Smith and Washington both play for Northern Ireland and previously played together at Peterborough, where Conor made his big break and secured a move to Queen's Park Rangers.

The 27-year-old former-Sheffield United man made his debut against Dundee United on Friday night and he impressed right-back Smith.

"You saw him the other night, he'll work his socks off for the team," Michael said. "He'll put himself about and make runs in behind - which we needed.

"We have Uche who will just bully boys and Macca [Steven MacLean] who's a tidy little footballer. [Conor] will give us something different and I think he'll score quite a few goals this year."

The Jambos opened their season with a penalty-shoot out win over the Tangerines, with the hosts controlling large spells of the game.

"It was alright, I thought we did well - we dominated possession," Michael added. "They scored first but we probably had four or five good chances to score.

"It's still quite early in the year, we haven't been back too long so we're still finding our feet, getting our tactics right and getting the new players settled in. Overall, I thought it was very pleasing."

It was a stressful few hours for the 30-year-old, who welcomed his second child into the world on the morning of the match. 

"I was in the hosptial early morning, baby was born at 12.30pm. I was worried, I wasn't sure I was going to make the game!

"I brought my tracksuit with me, stuck it on in the toilet and drove down the M8 to Tynecastle. It was a great day and although we didn't get the three points, we won on penalties so that tops it."

Firstly, congratulations to Michael and his family! Secondly, his full press conference is available on HeartsTV by clicking here.