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Johnson on new-boy Smith

20 June 2013

Hard work was key to signing - Latics' manager

Lee Johnson pinpoints hard work as being the key to capturing Korey Smith.

Latics' manager says a lot of hard graft proved pivotal in signing the 22-year-old midfield man who was recently released by Norwich City.

Johnson, who beat off fierce competition to sign Smith on a two-year deal, said: "If we had not courted Korey properly he would have gone elsewhere.

"It is a classic example of putting in the effort to get a player of his quality."

Johnson, who has been in contact with Smith throughout the close season, added he was always confident of signing him.

He added: "I always believed we would get him because it is the right move for him.

"Korey knows how highly I rate him and I always trust him on the field. In his time here on loan, he only had one half which was not great.

"He had better offers financially so it shows the type of guy and his character that money was not the key factor."

As to Smith's attributes, Johnson says he has a lot of experience - 114 first-team games - for a 22-year-old.

He continued: "To buy into that experience is invaluable.

"Korey has won this division with Norwich and is young, hungry and wants to do well."

Keep logging on to the official website for an exclusive interview with Smith, his first since signing permanently for Latics. 

Korey Smith is pictured being welcomed to Boundary Park by Latics' manager Lee Johnson.

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