Alan Smith was included in the team on Saturday, but surprisingly replaced Mark Viduka up front.
In retrospect, it was clear why Sam wanted him in the team, because you can rely on Alan to give a committed performance, even when heâ€™s not particularly playing well.
Alan Smith – we gave everything we had on Saturday
After Joey Bartonâ€™s criticism of Newcastle’s support on Saturday morning, the almost 7,000 traveling Geordies at Ewood Park were little short of magnificent in the way they supported their team. The game against Blackburn turned out to be a cracker, especially in the second half.
Now Alan Smith is hoping for a similar atmosphere on Wednesday evening, when Newcastle face the daunting task of confronting the in-form Premier League leaders Arsenal, who seem to be able to score at will these days.
Smith talked today of the Newcastle United support:
“The fans were unreal at Blackburn – people go on about the Newcastle support but you don’t grip it until you’re playing for them.” “If we go out and give 100 per cent like that, they’ll back us to the hilt.â€
“We wanted to make sure we played with passion and pride and everyone saw the reaction from the fans at the end.â€Â “We gave everything we had and I hope that they’ll get behind us again against Arsenal.”
The Newcastle team will get that support on Wednesday evening, but the players need to reciprocate. Although we played well on Saturday we didn’t get anything out of the game, and have taken just a single point from the last 15 available. So it’s important we get something out of the Arsenal game, at least to build up our confidence for Birmingham City at home on Saturday. We’ll definitely need all 3 points at that game.
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