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In-form Oxford United striker eager for extra work to help last the course
DEANE Smalley is not satisfied with an encouraging start to the season and the striker is keen to take on extra work to improve his fitness.
The 25-year-old scored just seven goals in the previous two seasons at Oxford United, but he has four from five league starts already this term.
It has come despite injury niggles last month and although Smalley is still working back to full match sharpness, he believes there is more to be done after suffering from cramp while scoring in the 3-1 win at Hartlepool United last weekend.
He said: “I think I need to work on my fitness a little bit more. I’m not shying away from that fact and I will be doing that starting this week.
“Hopefully I can play a lot more 90 minutes throughout the season.
“I’m not too sure if it’s down to coming back from the injury, but I’m not getting through the 90 minutes.
“Last week against Chesterfield I felt like I was struggling a bit.
“Maybe that was because I had been out for three weeks and I was trying to look after myself, but I’ll find a way to put it right.”
The former Oldham Athletic trainee is set to keep his place in the side against Southend United tomorrow as the club’s leading marksman.
James Constable has finished the last five seasons as the U’s sharpest shooter, and while Smalley’s priority is where the team finish, he admitted becoming top scorer was also a goal.
“It’s something every striker wants,” he said.
“You don’t want to settle for second best and I keep saying I will work as hard as I can in training, hopefully get the shirt and perform for the team.
“But as long as we’re picking up wins it doesn’t matter who is scoring.
“It is nice to have all the trophies, but as long as we achieve what we want to this season I will be happy.”
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