Matt Smith: Bristol City aim to keep Fulham striker on loan

Matt Smith
Smith scored his first professional hat-trick against Gillingham on Tuesday

Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill is confident he can extend the loan spell of in-form Fulham striker Matt Smith.

The 25-year-old is contracted at the League One club until 25 January and has scored seven goals in eight games, including four in Tuesday's Football League Trophy win over Gillingham.

Speaking after the 4-2 area final first-leg victory, Cotterill said: "We're really pleased we've got him.

"We would like him to stay for as long as possible."

Cotterill added to BBC Radio Bristol: "I've spoken to Kit Symons [Fulham manager] about it and he seems happy."

Smith started his career at Cheltenham and spent time playing in non-league while studying International Management with American Studies at the University of Manchester.

When he had completed his studies he signed for Oldham, where he went on to become their FA Cup hero after scoring against Liverpool and Everton in their run to the fifth round.

Smith signed for Leeds and spent a year with the Championship club, scoring 14 goals in 48 games.

He then joined Fulham in August for a reported £500,000, but struggled for game time after being sent off on his debut against Reading.

However, the 6ft 6in striker has found his form during his month with League One promotion chasers Bristol City.

"The goals have given me confidence and you just want to keep playing," said Smith, who was watched by Symons on Tuesday night.

"I'm really enjoying it here and everyone has been fantastic since I signed. I'm keen to stay but Fulham are my employers so first and foremost I want to do well for them.

"To an extent it's out of my hands but we'll wait and see."