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With video: Mackail-Smith wants to keep season alive with a repeat of this goal
Craig Mackail-Smith wishes the season was only just starting, not about to finish.
But he is heading for Derby with Albion for the second leg of the play-offs hoping for a history repeat.
Club record buy Mackail-Smith came off the bench in the closing stages of Thursday’s 2-1 defeat in the first leg at the Amex.
It was the former Peterborough marksman’s sixth outing as a substitute in the last month after 13 months out with Achilles and ankle damage.
Mackail-Smith said: “It’s frustrating that it’s coming to an end soon. I’d liked to have got more games and got more into it but my injuries have dictated when I’ve come back.
“I’ve got to be happy I’m back playing and involved in a play-off, which is great. I didn’t see that happening at the beginning of the season.
“So I’m just enjoying it and if I have an input on the game on Sunday then it will be perfect.”
Mackail-Smith has fond memories of Derby’s iPro Stadium, or Pride Park as it used to be known. He scored the only goal early on in Albion’s 1-0 win there two seasons ago.
Replicating that would take the tie into extra-time and Mackail-Smith, after setting up Leo Ulloa’s late top six clincher at Derby’s neighbours Nottingham Forest last Saturday, is upbeat despite the first leg deficit.
He said: “It was nice to come on and try to help the team out. Obviously I want to be involved as much as possible and can only rely on the gaffer and wait to put me on and then, when I get a chance, try and take it. Hopefully I can repeat what I did at Forest.
“I’ve scored one there and done pretty well when I’ve played there, so hopefully that holds me in good stead."
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