Soccer: Smith: Watch out for Chris

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), August 16, 2003 | Go to article overview

Soccer: Smith: Watch out for Chris


Byline: Darren Devine

RED Dragons boss Denis Smith has promised to unleash an 'awesome' Chris Armstrong at Meadow Lane today.

But he warned that Wrexham fans might not see the best of his big summer signing for a few weeks yet.

Smith believes 32-year-old Armstrong, who played just one game for Bolton Wanderers last season before rejoining Wrexham, needs to be eased back into first-team action before he can show his best.

Armstrong's achilles was sore after last Saturday's 0-0 draw at the Racecourse with Chesterfield in the season opener.

And Smith did not risk his star striker in Tuesday's 2-0 Carling Cup defeat at Crewe.

Armstrong will start against County today, although Smith reiterated his desire not to risk the former Crystal Palace and Spurs star's long-term fitness with a rash of early games

He said, 'Chris could have played on Tuesday, and a lot of this is me being ultra-cautious.

'I want him for the long-term. I'm not interested in short-term glory. It's important that he plays games throughout his contract.

'If he had played on Tuesday he might have been struggling. But because he played on the previous Saturday I didn't know how much that would have put onto his injury.'

Smith said he has to protect Armstrong from himself as the player is keen to start every game.

'His achilles was a little bit sore (after the Chesterfield game). People play with that but what I don't want is a chronic achilles.'

Smith said even if the club's physio Mel Pejic reports a slight doubt over Armstrong, he will refuse to risk the player.

'Hopefully come September we won't be having those discussions,' he said. …

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