Alex Smithies believes he can learn from Rob Green as well as compete with him for the goalkeeper’s position at QPR.
The new signing is aiming to establish himself as Rangers’ first-choice keeper but says he is full of respect for Green, whose performances last season earned him a recall to the England squad.
“He’s a very highly regarded goalkeeper and hopefully I can pick up some things and push him all the way,” Smithies said.
“If any club wants to compete then they’ll want to have competition for places and this club’s no different.
“Myself and Rob are going to compete and whoever deserves to play will play. I’m just going to do everything in my ability to put pressure on Rob.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for him because of what he’s done in the game. There’s a lot of stuff he does that I can learn.
“Just being around him, watching him train and play in games, I’ll try and soak up as much of that as I can to try and improve myself.
“There’s no better person to come and learn from than Rob.”
The right time
Smithies’ determination to learn his trade led to him biding his time before moving from Huddersfield, where he made his first-team debut eight years ago as a teenager.
Despite being only 25, he has made 274 first-team appearances – many of them coming in the Championship.
“It’s probably the reason I stayed at Huddersfield so long – I was getting the opportunity to play so regularly,” he explained.
Smithies played for England at the 2007 Under-17 World Cup in South Korea – Yun Suk-Young, now of QPR, was in the hosts’ squad
“I’ve managed to play quite a few games for a 25-year-old goalkeeper, which will stand me in good stead having come down to London to a club that is looking to kick on and get back into the Premier League.
“When I was younger there were a few times when I probably could have left.
“My idea was always to pick up some experience and then move when I was in a position to go and compete to play in another team.
“I’ve done that now and if I get a chance [to be the number one keeper] I feel like I’ll be good for the club and can help them achieve what they want to achieve.”
‘Reached my limit’
Smithies recently moved into a house in Buckinghamshire and says he has had no problems settling in the south.
And while a League Cup defeat at home to Carlisle was not the kind of debut he would have wanted, he is convinced he made the right move.
“I’ve found a place to live and played in one game, so I’ve settled in well. QPR seems like a good club and I’m enjoying being part of it,” he said.
“I thought it was a good opportunity to go to London and a big club with high expectations. I felt that would bring out the best in me and take me to the next level.
“I felt like I’d sort of reached my limit at Huddersfield and I wanted to be part of something here when I was given the chance.
“It’s a good move for me and I’m just looking forward to the next chapter in my career.”