Lopez has got bundles of ability says Smith
- Credit: Archant
Stevenage manager praises striker after Spaniard scores a hat-trick against Sheffield United
Gary Smith hailed Dani Lopez’s performance after the striker scored a hat-trick in Boro’s 4-0 win over Sheffield United.
The front man was making his first start in a Stevenage shirt following a return to the club after a loan spell at Barnet, and following three goals for the Bees in League 2 last weekend the former Athletico Madrid reserve team player tore through the Blades with a clinical display.
The 27-year-old has been on the periphery of the Stevenage first team this season, making just four substitute appearances before Saturday’s match-stealing performance.
He scored six goals in a loan spell at Aldershot during the first half of the season and also impressed at Barnet, but due to Boro’s recent woes in front of goal Lopez was recalled and he went on to score as many goals in his first start for the club as Boro had managed between them in their past seven league matches.
Speaking after Saturday’s win, Smith said: “He’s been out to Aldershot and of course to Barnet in League 2. He speaks very little English, he’s had to find out about the English game, iron out some wrinkles, take a few knocks. It’s not easy playing in League 1 and 2.
“He’s scored nine goals in 15 games in League 2 and it’s certainly the right time [to bring him back]. As a forward, when your confident it doesn’t matter what level you’re playing at you just feel like you’re going to score goals.
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“We’ve seen today he’s got bundles of ability, he’s got two good feet and if you can get him in and around that penalty area what he will do is work an angle and get a shot off.
“And today everything has gone for him; some very, very good quality and on other occasions maybe he’s just done a little too much but he’s won the game.
“He did great for the first goal. I thought the centre-back was climbing all over him and he used his body well and turned him nicely inside the box.
“And the one thing, if we all get the opportunity to see him enough, is that if you get him in front of goal you feel confident that he might certainly make the goalkeeper work and today his third was an absolute corker.”