Orient’s Smith is ready for challenge
Leyton Orient's former Norwich City loan signing Jimmy Smith insists the boot is firmly on the other foot ahead of the underdogs' FA Cup third round trip to Carrow Road.
The lower league visitors emerged unscathed from a bizarre tie with Conference North Droylsden in the previous round to earn a shot at Paul Lambert's side.
Orient needed a late equaliser to force a home replay in the original match and were two goals down at Brisbane Road before smashing six in extra-time to win 8-2.
'That first game we went up there and we thought it should never have been played,' said Smith. 'The pitch was rock hard, but we got them back to ours, managed to get the ball down and play and got through in the end. They did start well at our place but the second half we were all over them. They had no pressure on them and we are in the same position against Norwich.
'There is a lot of confidence amongst the boys and we're coming off a good win the other day. It would be nice to have a good run in the cup. We know we are going to be underdogs, but that doesn't faze us. We'll look to go and do a job.
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'The FA Cup is always about who wants it most on the day because it really is a competition where anyone can beat anyone. I'm looking forward to it because I know it will be a great atmosphere. In the time I was there the fan base was really, really good.'
Smith's six-month Carrow Road stint in 2007 while on loan from Chelsea was wrecked by a pre-season broken ankle injury. The former England youth international battled back to make nine appearances before returning to Stamford Bridge.
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'I enjoyed my time even though I picked up the injury,' he said. 'There are still a few lads left like Chrissy Martin and Adam Drury so it will be good to see some familiar faces.
'Breaking my ankle in pre-season really set me back. I managed to play a few games towards the end of my spell but then Chelsea recalled me because they wanted me in and around the first team at that stage. Going out on loan to Norwich and QPR was a good experience. I went back for the first time last season with Orient and we started off well but got a man sent off and that is what killed us.'
City romped to a 4-0 league win in that game although Orient exacted a measure of revenge towards the end of the Canaries' triumphant title march.
'I think the manager who came in has got them playing in a certain way and it works very well,' said Smith. 'They looked a good side last season and they've carried it on and to be third in the Championship is a great achievement.
'I think they have got a good chance to go up but having played in that league its all about consistency because it is tough. You look at the set-up with the training facilities and everything else like that and if they do go up they have a chance of doing well.'