After FA Cup heroics, QPR striker reminds Steve McClaren how vital he is

Matt Smith of Queens Park Rangers celebrates after he scores his sides second goal during the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay match between Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth at Loftus Road on...

Matt Smith scored his third goal of the season against Portsmouth in the FA Cup.

Matt Smith of Queens Park Rangers celebrates after he scores his sides second goal during the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay match between Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth at Loftus Road on...

 After loaning out youngster Aramide Oteh, it appeared Queens Park Rangers left themselves light in the attacking department as the transfer window closed. 

Loanee Tomer Hemed is still returning to full fitness, which effectively left Nahki Wells as the only strong forward that QPR could call upon. 

 

However, R's manager Steve McClaren took a chance on Tuesday night when he opted to start Matt Smith up top, and the gamble paid dividends. 

The former Leeds United striker was a thorn in the Portsmouth defence all night, and his second-half goal was more than justified. 

Matt Smith of Queens Park Rangers scores his sides second goal during the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay match between Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth at Loftus Road on February 05, 2019 in...

Smith has struggled to force his way into the first-team this season after finishing as Rangers' top-scorer last term, but his Pompey display will remind McClaren just how useful he can be.

Even defensively, Smith is a brilliant asset with his height and aerial prowess and he will be a handful for any defender in the Championship at the other end of the pitch.

Matthew Clarke of Portsmouth and Matt Smith of Queens Park Rangers clash during the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay match between Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth at Loftus Road on February...

Although Wells and Hemed are higher up the pecking order, there is no reason why Smith cannot force his way into the starting line-up and prove his worth once again.

SEE ALSO: 'Absolutely loved that': Some QPR fans react to FA Cup win

After all, Smith scored 11 league goals last year and now he has the potential to go on and build from his strong performance on Tuesday, it is vital McClaren utilises him in the right way and gives him more minutes on the pitch. 

With the visit of Birmingham City coming up at the weekend, it will be a great opportunity to give Smith another run out before the FA Cup tie against Watford a week on Friday.

26th August 2017, Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales; EFL Championship Football, Cardiff City versus Queens Park Rangers; Matt Smith of Queens Park Rangers scores with his header in the...

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