First Team

Smith: Gaffer has shown faith in Me

19th April 2019

Michael Smith admitted he is delighted in the faith that Craig Levein has shown faith in him following his return from injury.

The full-back picked up a thigh injury in the February win over Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup fifth round and subsequently missed the next two months of action. 

He returned against Hibs at the start of this month and started the Cup semi-final against Inverness last weekend.

"There's always competition," Michael said, talking about the right-back spot. "There's me going for right back with Jamie [Brandon] and Marcus [Godinho].

"We have a bit of friendly banter about it and the boys have stepped in well this year. The gaffer has shown faith in me by putting me straight back in after my injury and hopefully I'm repaying him."

The 30-year-old also told the media of his delight at making it to the Scottish Cup final but added the dressing room are focused on the next five league games.

"The next five games coming up are massive. They're against big teams, they'll be big games and I think although we're a good few points away from that fourth spot, stranger things have happened and it's up to the boys now to stay in the team and play well."

Rangers are the only team Hearts have not beaten this season, despite pushing them close the last time the sides met at Tynecastle. 

"We've been inconsistent performance-wise... injuries, we haven't had our best team to choose from," Smith said, explaining why the Jambos haven't always been at their best against Steven Gerrard's men.

"We played them at the start of December and we gave them a real good game. If it wasn't for the linesman we'd have come out with a 1-1 draw which we'd probably have been happy with. We were a bit unlucky to lose that one."

You can watch all of Michael Smith's press conference on HeartsTV by clicking here.