Dumbarton star David Smith taking inspiration from ex-Hearts teammate Callum Paterson as he thrives at right-back

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BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport

DAVID SMITH is taking inspiration from the rise of former Hearts teammate Callum Paterson to re-invent himself as a marauding full-back.

The Dumbarton star made his name as tricky winger, tormenting defenders during stints with the Jambos, Raith Rovers and Falkirk before joining the Sons in the summer.

However, in a bold move, manager Stevie Aitken has deployed Smith at right-back in recent outings and it paid dividends last week when he helped the part-timers notch a clean sheet in their 1-0 triumph at St Mirren – their first win since August 13.

Dumbarton FCSmith is relishing his new role and reckons Paterson, who made his debut for Hearts as a striker under John McGlynn, is the perfect role model.

The 23-year-old said: “You need to be switched on to your defensive duties, but the role is so much more in modern football. You look at the best full-backs in the World, they are all just as comfortable going forward as defending.

“Likewise, a lot of the top teams get their width and attacking threat from their full-backs, so it feels like a natural progression.

“Even in Scotland, I played with Callum [Paterson] at Hearts and he is a perfect example. He came through at Hearts as an attacking player because he was strong, quick and direct.

“But he has used those assets to become a full international at full-back, so he is a great influence to look towards.

“It’s a position I really enjoy and I think I have the attributes to do well – hopefully I can keep developing and adapting.”

After helping Dumbarton to their first triumph in three months – climbing out of the relegation places – Smith is now determined to build momentum when they host in-form Morton this afternoon.

He continued: “Last week definitely wasn’t our best performance of the season but, in a game like that, all the matters is coming out with a win.

“Now it’s about building on that and hopefully getting a positive result against Morton.”

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