Smith had an unusual skill-set for someone who played most of his career as a defender. Originally a spindly teenager, he was known for his dribbling skills, often coming on as substitute on the left wing. He was then tried as a midfielder and then as an overlapping left back. However, as his body matured, he became strong in the air and he was used by Colchester as a central defender, and occasionally even as a target man up front. His occasional forays up the left wing from his position in central defense caught many teams by surprise.