On Saturday, for the very first time at Newcastle, Alan Smith found himself on the bench at the start of the clash at the Madejski Stadium, after missing the Tottenham game on Monday night through suspension.
Sam had told Alan he was not in the starting line up because the team had done so well on Monday night, with Alan just a supporter on the night.
And Alan is right when he said after equalizing that we could have ended up with all 3 points – but then the defense went to sleep … again.
Alan Smith - disappointed to be on bench but gave Newcastle bite in the latter stages of the game
For the Alan Smith doubters out there, and we know there are some among the Newcastle faithful, Alan provided Newcastle with some real bite up front once he got on the field.Subs James Milner, Zog and Smith all made a big difference when they emerged in the latter stages of the game to help fashion an equalizer. But then, rather than go forward and even win the game, we gave away such a stupid goal â€“ it was unbelievable when we were watching it on the TV.
Alan told the Newcastle Chronicle today:
â€œWe cannot win away from home at the moment and thatâ€™s disappointing.â€ â€œWe need to rectify the problem as soon as possible.â€
â€œWe canâ€™t just blame them â€“ all of us as team have to take responsibility for this defeat.â€ â€œAnd we all have to take the responsibility for the amount of goals we are conceding.
â€œI am not going to come out here and blame one player for it.â€ â€œEach and every one of us knows that we are responsible for our own form.â€
â€œThe away form is disappointing.â€
Smith admitted he was hoping to get into the game all the way through but wasnâ€™t sure he would. The Newcastle fans were not happy at the way Newcastle were playing and continually chanted â€œattackâ€ during the second half.
â€œI was still sat on the bench when fans were shouting.â€ â€œThey are used to seeing attacking football and sometimes the best form of defense is attack.â€
â€œBut we know that we have enough players to score goals.â€ â€œEverybody is aware that we have to defend much better.â€
And reflecting on manager Sam Allardyceâ€™s decision to start him on the bench Smith was OK â€“ and we already know what a great team player Alan is after his time at Leeds United and Manchester United. Smith continued:
â€œI had to accept it.â€ â€œThe gaffer told me that the reason I wasnâ€™t playing at Reading because the team did so well against Tottenham.â€
â€œI then had to just try to make an impact when I came on as sub, which I did.â€ â€œJames Milner has played every game and I missed out in the last game through suspension and we made a difference.â€
â€œWe got the equalizer and I thought we looked the most likely to get the winner.â€ â€œIt could have been all three points.â€
â€œI wonâ€™t claim the goal.â€ â€œIt was an own goal, even though I got a touch.â€ â€œDubs managed to get the touch and it was an old pal doing us a favor.â€
â€œBut we are disappointed with the game overall and we have to take it on the chin.â€
Dubs (Michael Duberry) was of course a team mate of Alan’s during his time at Leeds United. But weâ€™re sure he wasnâ€™t trying to do Alan a favor. Apart from the own goal Michael seemed to have a solid game at the back for Reading.
In fact from the Reading reports we have seen – that was Readingâ€™s best display of the season. Pity it had to come against Newcastle, but there again â€“ maybe our display had something to do with it. We think it did.