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Interviews

Smith Enjoying Life At Latics

21 January 2020

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Following the announcement that an agreement was reached for the winger to stay at the club for the remainder of the campaign, the player himself shone a light on the reasoning behind it.

Joining late on in the summer after a number of trials at a handful of clubs including playing against Latics at Boundary Park for Rochdale in pre-season, the 22-year-old has amazed those that doubted him by becoming one of the most consistent performers in the division.

"I've loved every single minute here, I've been given the chance to play basically every minute since the new gaffer came in who's been brilliant with me.

"He's grown a part of my game that needed growing and literally all the lads and the staff I can't thank them enough and just can't wait to get going for the last few months of the this season."

He added: "From day one the fans have been brilliant with me. Even in the first game when I only came on for 20 minutes, I got four or five messages afterwards saying you're exactly what we needed and that.

"So since then I've just wanted to pay them back and I feel like if I can keep doing what I'm doing towards the end of the season to try and keep them happy."

With his impressive performances, especially of the late, the Liverpool-born player is pleased that his parent club, Bristol City listened to wishes despite interest from other sides further up the league pyramid.

"I wanted to stay here, like I said I'm growing as a player and feel like I'm developing massively. I'm also feeling very confident at the minute, I feel like it's the right place for me and with the squad that we've got that's growing now with the likes of Danny Rowe coming in who's a top, top player and I've played with him before and I know he can score goals at this level.

"So it's all about getting up that table now because I believe we're getting players in that will help us."

He continued: "Over all my loans I've scored throughout but this season I feel it's the one where I'm getting into the positions and finishing the chance the most, so if I can carry that on I'll probably have my best goalscoring season. Because at Fylde I scored ten but I believe if I keep doing what I'm doing I can more than I did in that season."

One of the key components of the deal has been his Loan Manager, Brian Tinnion who has been checking in with the player's progress regularly on and off the pitch in what is a groundbreaking season for the youngster.

"Brian is always in contact with me every Saturday wishing me good luck, telling me well done, asking me all the time how I'm feeling here and he knows I'm happy here.

"He just said 'we're happy for you to play where you are happy'. As soon as I said that he said, 'right we'll help you out with that and get this done and you can stay here till the end of the season'.

"At the start of the season I obviously wasn't in the best position, it was a bit of surprise at first after promotion with Tranmere last season, but it was down to me in this first six months to go and prove myself and I feel like I've got that bite inside me and that hunger to go and prove people wrong this season and I feel like that I've done that so far."

Another person key to his success has been the Head Coach who has shown faith in Smith's ability, something he is thankful for and was quick to mention.

"The gaffer has got to be a big part of my progress. I've got to give him credit because he's put confidence in me and said 'you're one of my main men' and that was a big thing to me.

"I've always wanted to be one of the main men at a club like Oldham so the gaffer has been brilliant with me, I'll be honest. So credit to him for that.

"I believe this is a club with big potential. The fanbase we know its bigger than what it is showing at the minute, there's more fans that will come but that comes with us getting better and getting more performances.

"Also, I spoke to Callum Lang before I joined who obviously had a good time here and he had nothing but nice things to say. He said the club is massive, you don't realise how big it is until you get there so he was one of the reasons why I joined as well."

Now in his fourth loan spell away from the Championship club, Smith has been quick to learn from each experience and is using this one to go to the next level.

"It's confidence massively. I'm trying new things and the gaffer tells the front players to go and try things. Like Maouche on Saturday, you can see his ability when he goes for it and tries and does what he wants to do because he's a top player as well and there's definitely more to come from him.

"As front players we get given the freedom and Danny Rowe will help us a lot by dropping into pockets and I feel like he's going to be a big player for this club as well."

Playing regularly now young Jonny has already contributed with seven goals in all competitions, a handful of assists and numerous man of the match awards. He was quick to say;  "I think my Dad is the sponsor to be honest."

Joking aside, he is a player that is relishing his time at Latics and has some memorable moments already that will stick with him for different reasons.

"Macclesfield is the best feeling I've had scoring because the away end was bouncing. But probably Morecambe on a personal level was my favourite moment so far because that was my first goal and I needed it and I felt like I wanted that goal the most.

"You could see the way I celebrated, there weren't many fans in the corner for me to celebrate with but I really wanted it. It meant a lot."

One thing that has been of notice lately that he is quick to acknowledge the supporters once the ball hits the back of the net.

"They work hard to pay their hard earned money to watch us and we want to give back to them and we want to show them goals and first of all work hard for them.

"I just love to celebrate with them as they love the club and us as players try to love the club as well, I just feed off their passion.

"I'm really happy and I can't wait for the next few months."


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