GT was true to his word. All but one of his 35 league appearances that season came from the off and although he only bagged eight goals, he didn't half get some crucial ones. He got the winner at home to QPR, the winner at home to Bristol City and obviously the clincher in the play-off final. He also played a part, both good and bad, in the rousing 2-1 win over Tranmere in April, a result that sparked a six-game winning streak.
“The gaffer held a team meeting before that game and I remember him saying we needed to win all of our remaining games to get promoted. That game was particularly flat so I tried to wind up the keeper, John Achterberg. I stood on his toes from a corner and as it was delivered, he pushed me and we got a penalty.”
Kennedy saw his 87th-minute penalty saved but Michel Ngonge was on hand to crash in the rebound. Smart was, shall we say, rather over-exuberant in his celebrations at the last-gasp winner and he became embroiled in a set-to with David Kelly. Smart was sent off, leaving Watford to play the last three minutes and injury time with nine men. Richard Johnson had already been sent off seven minutes earlier.
“There were a few handbags thrown around,” said Smart. “I deserved to get sent off but I thought I was alright as Johnno got sent off too and the gaffer loved Johnno, so he couldn't slaughter me and not him. He even patted us on the back, I think, as he said the team needed a reaction, a spark, as we were so poor. The gaffer just said our punishment was getting back into the team, which was going to be a struggle. It was good management and good psychology.”