At home with... Fulham 's Tom Cairney and Millwall's Matt Smith

04/05/20 3:40pm

Fulham`s Tom Cairney and Millwall`s Matt Smith discuss friendship, the madness of the Championship and playing football with Jack Whitehall.
Fulham`s Tom Cairney and Millwall`s Matt Smith discuss friendship, the madness of the Championship and playing football with Jack Whitehall.

Tom Cairney and Matt Smith discussed a wide range of topics as Sky Sports joined Fulham and Millwall at home.

Jonathan Oakes and Gary Weaver spoke to the former team-mates about friendship, the madness of the Championship and much, much more.

Listen to the `At home with... Fulham & Millwall` podcast

On the friendship they struck up at Craven Cottage…

Smith: It`s going back a few years now but we had a really good time at Fulham. We had a really good dressing room and we lived right next to each other, so we just struck up a friendship and it`s stayed close ever since, really. He`s got new responsibilities now - he`s got a baby boy - so, naturally, his afternoons are a bit busier, which is totally fair enough.

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Cairney: We were roomies on away trips. That`s key. When he left for QPR, I felt like I was cheating so I went on my own! It just didn`t feel right. I was with Chris Martin for a bit but it just felt wrong so I said to the player liaison officer to put me in my own room. We`ve been lucky because Matt`s stayed in London; sometimes I drive to where he lives and we have a coffee or we have a `date` night every couple of weeks. I think it`s important because you have a lot of team-mates in football and then as soon as you move clubs you don`t really speak and I think that happens quite often.

On scoring a hat-trick prior to the suspension…


Smith: A 3-0 away win at Forest, who were flying high, was such a great result for us that we would`ve gone into the Derby game really high on confidence. I think the confidence will have worn off by the time we get back playing but it was a brilliant night. Honestly, we played some brilliant stuff, which is testament to the form we`ve been showing.

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I don`t think Jayson Molumby even knew [his shot had crossed the line via a deflection from Smith] until after the game! We saw the video afterwards and it went viral but we were crying in the changing room because he`d given it a right go, hadn`t he?! We`d had a team social not too long before that game and out of nowhere he pulled off this dance so we said, if he scored - which he hadn`t done all season - he`d have to pull off the dance. Sure enough, within a week he does it. We enjoyed that.

Cairney: I was going mad in Bristol! I remember watching it on my iPad and I tagged him on my Instagram story when he got his hat-trick. It was a Friday night just before we played Bristol City in the lunchtime kick-off. I was in the physio room getting a massage and everyone was going mad.

On the differences between Championship and Premier League football…

Tom Cairney celebrates his equaliser at Ashton Gate

Cairney: It`s crazy, isn`t it? Anyone can beat anyone in this division. Millwall, to be honest, have been brilliant all season and are tough to play. We played them a couple of months ago and it was a tough game, they started really well. The Championship is one of the best leagues to watch in the world. There`s always the surprise factor; I think maybe Millwall have been that this season.

I don`t think the bottom beats the top very often in the Premier League, if ever. It doesn`t really happen as often in the Championship and you can`t really call results in this league. A run of three or four wins can literally shoot you miles up the table. I think that`s the biggest difference.

On playing football with Jack Whitehall during his university days…


Smith: He was very enthusiastic - a willing runner! That`s what I needed beside me, so we complemented each other very well. I don`t think either of us would have thought, playing alongside each other, I`d go on to play professional football and he`d go on to become one of the biggest comics in the world. He`s a really great lad and only lives around the corner in London, so I keep in contact with him. He`s a great guy and he`s doing tremendously well.

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