Matt Smith
Smith has scored four goals this season.

Leeds United striker Matt Smith says the presence of seven strikers in the Elland Road first-team squad pressures him to consistently produce top class performances.

Smith has scored five goals in 15 appearances for the Whites this season since his summer move from Oldham Athletic.

The 24 year old is one of seven forwards available to Leeds boss Brian McDermott, with El-Hadj Diouf, Noel Hunt, Luke Varney, Dominic Poleon and Ross McCormack having recently been joined by Dexter Blackstock on loan from Nottingham Forest.

All seven have played a role for Leeds this season, leaving McDermott with something of a selection dilemma and Smith says he feels the pressure to perform such is the volume of other options.

"There's seven strikers at the club," said Smith. "So there's a lot of pressure when you go out on the pitch to impress and prove.

"Dexter's come from a big club like Forest, so he's going to be here to play. It's up to me to keep him out of the side and keep me in it.

"I'm here for the same reasons. It's all healthy at the end of the day."

Smith's 6 ft 6 in frame makes them an ideal impact substitute and eight of his 14 appearances this term have come from the bench.

Top scorer Ross McCormack, who netted four in the win over Charlton Athletic, is the only forward guaranteed a starting spot at Leeds, with Smith among six in contention to partner the Scot.

The ex-Oldham forward replaced Blackstock at Valley Parade on Saturday after starting against Birmingham City, Huddersfield Town and Yeovil Town and the youngster hopes his size doesn't see him typecast as a second half game-changer.

"There aren't too many 6ft 6in strikers in professional football at the moment," Smith noted. "You could probably count them on two hands.

"It's a bit of a dying breed so when you do get thrust into the first-team environment, you are going to get stereotyped and people accuse you of being a bit one-dimensional.

"But it's none of my concern. My concern is to improve. I know within myself what I need to work on and hopefully Leeds can bring the best out of me.

"A lot of people are quick to judge weaknesses but it's sometimes a case of playing to your strengths.

"I definitely know what mine are, but at the same time I want to work on my weaknesses to get them up to speed."