Tommy Smith hoping to impress Ipswich boss Paul Jewell
Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith is hoping a first start under manager Paul Jewell will earn him more appearances.
The 21-year-old is set to start Tuesday's Carling Cup tie against Northampton, after Damien Delaney suffered an ankle injury.
The New Zealand international told BBC Radio Suffolk: "It's a chance for me to show him what I've got.
"There's a bit of pressure because I want to prove I can be in his plans and push Damien for that first-team spot."
Smith was a regular starter in the first half of last season, but did not play after the arrival of new boss Jewell in January.
After a loan spell at Colchester at the end of last season, he was called in to action as a substitute during Ipswich's 3-0 win over Bristol City on Saturday.
And Smith admitted his lack of first-team action made it important to impress when given the chance.
"It's always nice to be a bit nervous going in to a game and you want that pressure to perform well," he said.
"[Jewell] told me to keep my head down, keep working hard and wait for my chance and hopefully I've got that chance - I'll see if I can take it."
Smith also said he was determined to stay at Portman Road and fight for a place instead of going out on loan again.
"It was nice being out and playing competitive games again and it gave me that little bit of edge for the end of the season," he explained.
"[But] for now, I'm definitely going to stay and fight for my place."
Delaney rolled his ankle against Bristol City, but the 30-year-old could return for the visit of Hull on Saturday.