Defender Manny Smith is determined to put everything on the line to ensure that he holds onto his place and keeps Notts County in Sky Bet League 1.
Smith returned to the side when the Magpies defeated Bradford City on New Year’s Day and was in contention for the Man of the Match award on the back of a committed display, which helped Notts gain a clean sheet.
The centre-back’s time with the club has been difficult mentally, following a nasty knee injury on the opening day of last season that kept him out for most of 2012.13.
Since returning to fitness Smith has struggled to nail down a regular spot in the back four but he is out to prove to manager Shaun Derry why he should hold onto his shirt.
He told Magpie Player: “As a defender you’ve got to throw your body in front of things and keep the ball out of the net, whether that means throwing your face in front of something or a last ditch tackle you’ve got to do it because that’s what you’re in the team for.
“I’m confident, I’ve just got to keep training well and not slack and continue that into the games.
“There’s always competition for places but that’s a good thing because it keeps everyone on their toes.
“You can’t take your foot off the gas because you know there will be someone there to replace you.”
He added: “I was very pleased with my return because it’s difficult to be sat on the sidelines watching games but as soon as you get your chance you’ve got to take it.
“Last season was difficult but this season I’ve got to kick on, play as many games as I can and contribute to getting us up the table.
“In the position that we are everyone needs to be bang on it to get us out of it.
“I’ve got to play with the passion and really get out there and show us what we can do.”
Smith is in line for another start in this weekend’s six-pointer with Sheffield United at Meadow Lane (3pm kick-off).
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