Millwall boss believes striker has extra motivation against QPR – but warns of West Ham man's threat

MATT Smith will have a “point to prove” when he faces his former club QPR at The Den this Saturday, Millwall boss Neil Harris believes.

Smith moved from west to south London for an undisclosed fee in the summer after being told by new Hoops boss Mark Warburton he was surplus to requirements at Loftus Road.

Former Fulham and Leeds striker Smith has scored two league goals for the Lions this season, directly earning four points against West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday.

Smith, 30, was on the bench last Saturday at Blackburn before coming on, and will be eager to be in from the start against QPR.

Harris, though, was keeping his cards close to his chest this week ahead of the London derby.

“Matt, whether he starts or comes off the bench, will have a real point to prove,” Harris said. “He would be the first to say he’s pleased to be here playing for us.

"Matt will want to do well, personally, and sometimes that’s important, you want to use those selfish traits to the advantage of the team.”

QPR are seventh in the Championship table with 13 points from seven games, four points more than Millwall.

Warburton has striking threats of his own. Jordan Hugill, on loan for the season from West Ham, has scored five goals in seven league games.

Hugill’s likely front partner on Saturday, Nahki Wells, on loan from Burnley, has four goals in seven games in all competitions.

Harris continued: “What they’ve got like a lot of teams at this level is a really good mix. They can play out from the back.

“They’ve changed their shape, which has been really effective for them. They play 3-5-2 and played really well the last couple of games.

“They’ve got a front pair in [Jordan] Hugill and [Nahki] Wells that are very, very good.

“It’s another game at The Den where you see two shapes up against each other fighting for the ball and trying to win the battle.

“Mark is a great guy and his teams play some nice football. In Hugill they’ve got the opportunity to go from back to front quickly as well, and they do use him. They can pass the ball but play a lot of long balls as well.

“We have to make sure that we close space well and press the ball, and also stand strong against a physical side.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly