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Smertin desperate for Fulham first team chance

The 33-year-old former Russia international managed just five appearances for the Cottagers following Hodgson's arrival in January.

The former Chelsea and Portsmouth midfielder was troubled by a succession of injuries last term, but is hoping to prove he deserves a more important role in the side ahead of the coming season.

"At first it was going well but then I was forced to be sidelined through injury troubles while my club was one step from relegation," he said.

"I am 33 years old already and I am full with ambitions. The coaches in the club come and go, but I don't want to sit on the bench all the time.

"I am still one of the best at training and examinations showed that I am much younger than in reality."

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Tribal Football Staff

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