Smith Expects Start on Saturday

Alan Smith says he has taken his bench duty at Reading right on the chin.

He lost his ever present tag after missing the Tottenham game through a suspension caused by accumulating 5 yellow cards this season.

On Saturday he only started on the bench and Smith, who is extremely competitive, wants to reclaim his starting place at the club.


Alan Smith – hopes to reclaim starting place at Newcastle

Smith, is hoping for a start when Newcastle take on Portsmouth at St James’ Park this Saturday, having left Manchester United because he didn’t get enough playing time at the huge Lancashire club.

Smith told the Evening Chronicle this afternoon:

“I definitely hope to start the next game,” “I want to play every game – I didn’t come here not to play.”

“I feel I’m good enough to play in this team, and the manager knows how I feel.” “When you have been suspended and the team has won, you have to take it on the chin. You then have to get on with it.”

“It’s only made me more determined to do well for Newcastle.”

The Reading defeat was the fourth away defeat in a row for Newcastle but the black and whites are still unbeaten at St James’ and we must keep that going against Portsmouth. Pompey are probably the best team so far to visit St. James’ Park this season, and have many star players.

Alan added:

“We’re up and down at the moment. We’ve had games against West Ham when we’ve won, then Man City (a 3-1 loss).” “Of course we beat Everton and Spurs, and then we go to Reading and lose.”

“It looked like we were a totally different team at Reading.” “Nobody can put their finger on it, but collectively as a team we must work on that and make sure we come out the other side.”

“Portsmouth are a good team and they have some good players.” “It’ll be difficult, but we don’t fear anybody – especially at St James’s Park.”

“Our away games have been bad and that means your home games become more and more vital.” “You can’t keep relying on your home form to get us out of trouble.”

When Smith came on last Saturday he made a big difference, and provided more bite in the tackle. We’d really like to see him start on Saturday. He’s only been used up-front once and with Viduka looking very doubtful we see no reason why Big Sam will not start him up front with Owen or Martins.  Certainly that’s his best position and he had lots of success there at Leeds United, partnering Mark Viduka.

Alan is a good footballer and a great team player – and we’re pleased to have him at Newcastle and think he can do very well. But he must start on Saturday to give some balance to our attack – and we just have to capture all 3 points on offer.  Then things should look a little better after our terrible capitulation at Reading.

Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • Joe

    Nov 1, 2007 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #1

    I would deffo like to see Smith and Oba starting against Pompey. He has the sense and ability to drop back and help midfield when need be and I think could really form a great partnership with Oba given time.

    My team for Sat:

    Geremi Cacapa Faye Enrique
    Milner Barton Emre Zog
    Smith Oba

  • wsq

    Nov 1, 2007 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #2

    I agree with you Joe. The last time they played together Smith made so many defence splitting passes to Martins. But we have to be cautious, Smith will be playing against Sol and Distin not an easy pair to play against. Whether Big Sam will be able to trust Smith to do the job, I’m not so sure.

    What I implore Big Sam to do is play with width, without that it wouldn’t be attacking. Route 1 against pompey, is not going to be easy.

  • AdamJD2

    Nov 1, 2007 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #3

    I agree. With Viduka out, Joe’s lineup is solid. I like the fact Smith can drop help to the midfield if needed. Plus Zogs and Milner can attack if Smith does drop to help. Very versatile offensively.

  • Hadrian

    Nov 1, 2007 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #4

    id always start the lad , i just wouldnt start others todo the same role on the day , 3 defensive minded midfielders doesnt cut it . smith should be told to let butt get on with the closing down and snapping tackles , while he gets on with some quality supply for our forwards . some of the little flicks and backheel’s are diamond when he’s on his game.

  • joelgledhill

    Nov 1, 2007 at 8:11 PM

    Comment #5

    everyone listen upp!!!!!!!!
    we have too get JEAMAINE DEFOE he is transfer listed at spurs.
    come on guys think what we”re dealing with here. ssstttrriiikkeeerrsss!!!!
    he fast,he takes on people,electric heart. respond and say what you think

  • Brisbane Mag

    Nov 1, 2007 at 10:07 PM

    Comment #6

    Hoping Smith starts against Pompey with either Owen or Martins.

    As long as we play with wingers, we can exploit the Pompey defense with pace up front and along the flanks…..

  • Joe

    Nov 2, 2007 at 12:40 AM

    Comment #7

    I wonder when exactly it was that teams started to fear Pompey. Amusing really, considering their state two seasons ago! But they have suddenly become a giant in the Premiership…around the same time we became a team that people were comfortable with.

    Did anyone else read the shitty papers (the sun, the mirror etc) that called our victory over Spurs ‘humiliating’ for them…what exactly is humiliating about losing to a team you’ve only beaten four times since 2001?

  • ssdd

    Nov 2, 2007 at 4:10 AM

    Comment #8

    alan needs to start at upfront with oba
    no midfielder for him again

  • Rich

    Nov 2, 2007 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #9

    joelgledhill – i think


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