ALEX SMITHIES looked forward to Huddersfield Town’s first trip to Millwall in three seasons and urged his teammates: “Let’s show how far we have come.”
The keeper is one of only three survivors from the side beaten 2-0 in the League I play-off semi-final second leg at the New Den in May 2010.
Captain Peter Clarke (inset) and striker Lee Novak were the others on duty on a night when Smithies accepts: “We just weren’t strong enough.”
While Millwall went on to win the play-off final against Swindon, who had Town wingman Danny Ward on duty, Smithies proved a Wembley promotion hero against Sheffield United in May.
With Town seventh after a promising start, he’s enjoying life in the Championship, and confident of a positive response to Tuesday’s 3-1 loss at Peterborough.
“We’re going to have setbacks along the way, but we know we are a far better side than we showed at Peterborough,” said the 22-year-old.
“It’s all about how you bounce back from a defeat, and we believe we can go to Millwall and put things right. Last time we went there, we had quite a young side and our inexperience showed through, but we’re a different proposition now.”
Smithies knows all about the partisan atmosphere at the South London venue and said: “I’ll get pelters, but I don’t take it personally.
“The Millwall fans really get behind their side, but our supporters have been fantastic home and away and I know they’ll be making some noise as well.
“I’ve learned to shut out the background noise and focus on the game, and we’re going there well prepared and in good spirits.”
Simon Grayson’s men travel this morning and train on their arrival in London.