Manager Ian Evatt will be doing his utmost to extend Tyler Smith’s loan at Barrow AFC, after the teenage striker moved into double figures for the season at Braintree Town.

Smith, who celebrates his 20th birthday today, scored a nerve-settling second goal in the 2-0 win against the Iron on Cressing Road that maintained the Bluebirds’ upturn in form.

His tenth goal of the campaign continued what has been a successful loan from Championship side Sheffield United, which is his first taste of first-team football.

His spell at Holker Street is due to end after the New Year’s Day fixture at AFC Fylde, but given his importance to the team, it’s no surprise that Evatt is so keen to keep him for longer.

Evatt said: “I’ve spoken to Sheffield United and I’ll do all I can to keep him. If it means locking him in my own house, I will do because he’s a big player for us.

“He’s got ten goals, he’s a 19-year-old kid whose attitude to training is a minority these days.

“Some of the young players of today probably don’t train as hard as they should do, they take things for granted, some of them, but Tyler certainly doesn’t.

“His work ethic – I have to drag him off the training pitch every single day and tell him ‘that’s enough.’

“I have to physically get him off the pitch because he wants to improve and he wants to learn and he’s going to have a fantastic career and we’re seeing the fruits of what he can do right now and hopefully we can keep him here.”

Evatt had to wait to pair Smith up front with targetman Jacob Blyth, who was only able to make his first start for Barrow at Aldershot just over a week ago after suffering from a couple of injuries.

The partnership so far has been a promising one, with Blyth fitting into the new 3-4-1-2 formation by acting as a focal point, which has freed Smith to use his pace more than when he was the lone front man.

That was laid bare for Smith’s goal, as he outsprinted Braintree’s defence to get on the end of Kemy Agustien’s long pass before rounding the goalkeeper to score.

Evatt said: “That’s the double threat with having Jacob, who’s been physically different class, up there to then having Tyler running in behind you constantly.

“He’s a pest, he doesn’t stop running, he’ll get chances and when he gets chances, he scores goals, it’s as simple as that. It’s great at the minute and I’m really pleased with them.”

Smith was named as one of the substitutes in the National League Team of the Week, which for the second week in a row included Bluebirds captain Josh Granite, after he helped his side to a third consecutive clean sheet.