Smith prepared to be patient

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Patience is a virtue, but for Gordon Smith, it has been more of a necessity over the past few years.

After spending most of the last two seasons on the Hearts bench waiting for his chance, the striker is currently in a similar boat at Raith Rovers.

Calum Elliot is congratulated after scoring Raith's penalty

Calum Elliot is congratulated after scoring Raith's penalty

Smith moved to Stark’s Park after being released from Tynecastle in the summer and began the season in Grant Murray’s starting 11.

The goal-scoring form of Greig Spence his since seen him drop to the bench and his last five appearances have been as a substitute.

However, Smith showed that he is prepared to fight for his place by winning the penalty just a few minutes after coming on that earned Raith a crucial point against Hamilton on Saturday.

“I started the season in the team and I’ve dropped out because the boys have been winning,” he explained.

“There’s not much I can do when the team is winning. I’m just trying to get on and impress when I get the chance.

“Whether I’m in the starting 11 or a sub I’ll always try to do my bit for the team.

“Everyone is in it together, and if I’m getting on for 20 minutes or starting I’ll make sure I give my all.”

Smith need only look at the injuries and suspensions in defence to know that he will get his chance.

“It’s a long season,” said the 22-year-old. “We’re only a quarter of the way through and the manager is going to need all his players.

“You just need to be on your toes, keep yourself fit and think positive even if you’re only getting on for the last 10 minutes.”

Smith was delighted to have played a key role to help the 10 men claim a draw at Hamilton.

“It feels like we’ve won after being a man down for so long,” he said. “We’ve done well to stay in the game with 10 men, so we’re happy to take away the point.

“When I went on, my instructions were just to get into the space behind their full backs and try to hold the ball and let the team get up the park.

“That’s what I tried to do, so winning the penalty was a bonus. I took it inside to shoot and the boy’s made contact with me. I never claimed for a penalty, but I was happy when the ref gave it. It’s a great comeback from the lads.”