ALEX SMITHIES played a key role as Town sealed a third successive derby win over Leeds – but refused to be drawn on his future.
Boss Lee Clark is set to offer fresh terms to the 18-year-old ace, who is out of contract at the end of the season and has already turned down one proposed new deal.
Once again, a string of Premier League scouts, plus Rangers boss Walter Smith, were at the Galpharm to see Smithies produce a string of top-class saves to help seal the 1-0 win which put Town ninth in League I.
Nathan Clarke’s 16th-minute header clinched the three points in front of 20,928, Town’s highest league gate at their current home.
Smithies, who won his first England Under 19 cap last midweek, evaded questions about his future plans, saying: “I just want to stay in the team, play well and help us win promotion.
“I’d been looking forward to this derby for weeks, and I definitely felt ready for it. This should do wonders for us mentally, because we now know we can win the big games.”
Clark, whose side are just four points off the play-off places, said: “Alex is an outstanding young player and an outstanding young man.
“He’ll have another contract offer in the next few days – and not just because of Saturday’s performance.
“The vultures are swarming, but we have to convince him the early part of his career will be best spent here.”