Craig Mackail-Smith has set his sights on an FA Cup comeback for Albion after taking another step on the road to recovery at Lancing last night.
The striker played for 50 minutes in a 3-2 victory for the development team against Crystal Palace at Culver Road.
It was Mackail-Smith’s first home appearance for ten months after Achilles and ankle injuries.
He more than doubled the game time he was given on his comeback at Brentford last week and, although he is reluctant to put a precise timescale on his first team return, would love to be involved in the FA Cup fifth round tie against Hull at the Amex on February 17.
Mackail-Smith said: “I want to play on Saturday (Doncaster) but I’m not allowed! There is another development game on Monday against Bournemouth, so I think I’ll be involved in that.
“I would like to play against Leeds (February 11), because I score against them all the time but I don’t think I’ll be involved in that.
“It’s just a case of doing bits and pieces, playing with the development team and then it will be down to the gaffer and physios to decided when the time is right.
“We’ve got four home games in a row, so it would be nice to nick into one of them. I enjoy the FA Cup and it’s on TV, so it would be nice to get a return then.”
Barry Fry, father of Mackail-Smith’s partner Amber, made the journey from Peterborough to see Mackail-Smith in action.
The former Posh marksman did not see much of the ball in a first half dominated by Palace but he set up Brennan Dickenson’s sweetly struck equaliser and decided to gain a few more minutes game time at the start of the second half following a 24-minute comeback at Brentford last week.
Mackail-Smith said: “It was nice to have a bit of a longer run and test things. I felt pretty good. I was a little bit fatigued so had to come off.
“We've got a game plan with the amount of time I am playing. I still didn’t get anywhere near a shot! That’s almost 90 minutes now without a shot, so I am a bit frustrated about that, but it’s coming. I can feel the sharpness slowly returning."