Oldham striker Smith likened to Everton legend Ferguson

Oldham Athletic striker Matt Smith is being likened to Everton legend Duncan Ferguson ahead of tonight's FA Cup replay.

Oldham Athletic striker Matt Smith is being likened to Everton legend Duncan Ferguson ahead of tonight's FA Cup replay.

Caretaker-manager Tony Philliskirk refused to be drawn on whether he will use Smith from the bench or change a starting line-up that beat Portsmouth on Saturday. Either way, after likening Smith to former Goodison favourite Ferguson, he senses Everton’s central defenders might not relish the prospect of him hurtling towards them.

"A lot of Premier League defenders are just not used to dealing with the attributes Matt has got," said Philliskirk. "These days, they are probably more used to counteracting smaller forwards who play between the lines and are clever on the floor.

"So, to put a 6ft 6in lad in there and stick it in the mixer might just be interesting. You can see defenders turning to each other and saying, 'What’s going on here?'

"That is what happened against Liverpool, and as a substitute against Everton, and there is no doubt his exploits in those two games have heightened his profile massively.

"You think of how good Duncan Ferguson was in the air, and more recently Andy Carroll, and the sort of money they were bought for, and it tells you what is possible for Matt.

"He has loads of work to do to reach that level, but he’s a lovely, hard-working lad and an attentive listener. He volunteers for extra hours on the training ground and he takes on board what you tell him. He’s got every chance."

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