New Socceroos call-up Brad Smith will leave opponents “scared” according to his Swindon Town boss Mark Cooper, who praised his pace and quality.
Smith, 20, was back in action at Swindon on Tuesday, having last week returned to parent club Liverpool for scans on an injured knee, which was not as bad as first thought.
The Sydney-born England youth international capped a good week with his maiden Australia call-up on Thursday for the upcoming friendlies against Belgium and Saudi Arabia.
Cooper was full of praise for Smith following his return to action in midweek.
“He gives you a bit of width with his left and he’s quick isn’t he?” Cooper told the Swindon Advertiser.
“He can occupy people because they’re scared of leaving him because of his pace and his quality with his left foot.
“It takes time when new players come in. The more that the players gets accustomed to how he plays I’m sure they’ll keep ramming the ball down his throat, which is what we want.”
Smith’s return to action after a medial ligament injury caught a few by surprise after being originally expected to miss four to six weeks, but Cooper insisted no risks were being taken.
“Coming from a club like Liverpool there would have been no risk taken by them,” he said.
“If there was any risk he would sustain any more damage then they wouldn’t have sent him back to us.
“They’re perfectly happy with him being back and playing and so are we.”
Meanwhile, fellow Swindon Socceroos call-up Massimo Luongo’s availability for next month’s friendlies doesn’t appear in doubt despite a hamstring complaint.
The Sydney-born 21-year-old was substituted late in Swindon’s midweek clash as a precaution after feeling a tight hamstring.
Despite the complaint, Luongo was still named in Ange Postecoglou’s 20-man Socceroos squad on Thursday, but is a chance to play in Swindon’s clash with Crewe this weekend.
Luongo missed Swindon training on Thursday and coach Mark Cooper said how he went at training on Friday would determine his availability for Saturday’s game.
“We don’t know yet (whether he will be fit for Crewe),” Cooper told the Swindon Advertiser. “He had a tight hamstring, so he had a rest.”