Oldham's Smith enjoys journey

Oldham striker Matt Smith has reflected on his journey from a student "slum" in Manchester to a back-page headline-maker.

Last Updated: 28/01/13 at 18:27

Matt Smith: Relishing his recent success

Matt Smith: Relishing his recent success

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Latics hero Smith tried to put Sunday's two-goal match-winning performance to knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup into perspective on Monday.

Just over 18 months ago, the 23-year-old was playing non-league football for Solihull Moors after spells at Redditch and Droylsden once he had completed his education.

Having originally been released by Cheltenham aged 18 and choosing to take a degree - International Management with American Studies at the University of Manchester, where he shared kick-abouts with comedian Jack Whitehall - he could appreciate more than most the achievement in knocking out the seven-time winners from the Premier League.

"Without a doubt, this is my career highlight. I won't be forgetting this for a very long time," he said.

"The days of living in student slums in Fallowfield, playing part-time football on £80-a-week is a big difference to finding yourself playing Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

"From my position it is easier to appreciate these victories because I am fully aware of reality so I am absolutely over the moon.

"I always wanted to play football every since I was a youngster but I took the academic route and I was not sure it would ever happen.

"But I never gave up hope and even at university I always tried to play at the highest level of non-league football I could.

"Just one good season and I get a move to a League One side and then you push and push.

"It is dedication and hard work and that bit of belief when maybe other people don't believe in you - self-determination and self-belief takes you a long way."

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ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

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f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

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ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

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