Callum Smith insists he is determined to keep taking his top-team chance after making his Dunfermline breakthrough this season.
The 17-year-old netted his first league goal for the Pars and earned the sponsors’ man-of-the-match award for a hugely impressive display in Saturday’s 5-1 thrashing of Inverness Caley Thistle.
The lively striker has been given an opportunity by manager Allan Johnston because of an injury to Nicky Clark and Declan McManus’ suspension, and has scored twice in six appearances.
The teenager admits he is ahead of schedule in his career development but is desperate for the games to keep coming as he seeks another start against Arbroath in the Irn-Bru Cup at East End Park tonight.
He said: “I have been working hard for ages to get my chance in the team, and when it came I had to take my chance.
“I feel like I did that on Saturday. I got man of the match, got a goal and set the tone for the team.
“Everybody hopes to be ahead of schedule for my age but everybody doesn’t get the chance.
“I am getting the chance just now so I have to keep doing my best to keep in the team.
“If that doesn’t happen I just have to work harder in training to try to get back in the team again.”
Smith scored inside the first 80 seconds against Inverness at the weekend, heading on a long pass, beating keeper Mark Ridgers to the ball and slotting into the empty net after benefiting from a ricochet.
The teenager caused the Caley Thistle defence all sorts of problems through the 90 minutes and hopes Johnston recognises he is perfectly suited to the Fifers’ attacking game-plan.
He added: “That is what the gaffer wants, he wants us to score as many goals as we can.
“He wants runs in behind, always being on top of defenders, not giving them any time. That is what I did and we got five goals from it. It is obviously working.
“That’s the football I love – balls over the top because I just use my pace all the time to get in behind.
“I do not give them any peace, that’s the way the gaffer wants me to play and that’s the way I like playing, so that is brilliant.”
The only game Smith has not featured in was last Wednesday’s Betfred Cup hammering from Rangers.
The 6-0 thrashing was a sore one to take for everyone at Dunfermline, especially given the highs of their penalty-kicks success against Hearts at Tynecastle earlier in the competition.
But Smith reckons they responded in the best possible way at the weekend.
He said: “I didn’t play on Wednesday night but the team was a wee bit down and we had to come back stronger. We showed that on Saturday and all the fans are buzzing for us again.