The winger was handed his first start for the Magpies by the caretaker manager, who was impressed with the 17 year-old's contribution at the Globe Arena.
He said: "Sam Osborne was outstanding on his debut. I knew he was good enough and his performance warranted a place in the team.
"I spoke to him about it and he was coming in fresh with no scars from what has happened here over the last 18 months. That was my thinking behind selecting him.
"The brightness and the freshness was something we wanted.
"For a young player to come into the side in these circumstances, he performed well."
Despite the performance of Osborne, Notts crashed to a 4-1 defeat against Morecambe with Jonathan Forte's goal on 81 minutes merely a consolation.
It left the caretaker boss frustrated with the defensive frailties which have plagued Notts' form all season long.
"I told the players in the dressing the performance in the second half is what we need to be putting in for 90 minutes week in, week out," said Smith.
"Individual errors have cost us goals again. We were a bit naive at times in terms of not using the width as much as we should do when they went down to 10 men.
"I'd like to thank the fans who travelled in their numbers again. I'm gutted that we did not give them the result they wanted."
Smith hopes that the arrival of Alan Hardy as owner of the club can be the catalyst for change on the field as well as off it.
"It is going to be a big week for this football club. It's a fresh start for everyone with the new owner coming in on Monday and hopefully the club can start moving forwards and upwards."