Alan Smith is nothing if not a determined and committed player on the football field, and he showed by his performance on Wednesday night, against his former club, Manchester United, that he could be a big plus for Newcastle in the crucial run-in of 10 games left in the season.
Alan Smith – no question about this lad’s character
But Alan has come out today in the Newcastle Journal and said there is a determination with the Newcastle players to get themselves away from the rather severe relegation trouble the club is in right now. We hope so.
Of course the players, who should never been in this position given their level of skill, have to face the fact they they will be remembered for being the players who took the famous Newcastle club down into the Championship, with all the negative connotations on most things that will have, not least of all the decimation of our current squad.
Certainly it will be the highest paid group of players ever to be relegated if it happens.
Alan said today:
“I’m confident we will stay up, definitely,” “If you look at the performance against Manchester United, it should give everyone great hope.”
“It means a lot to the players. There is pride in that dressing room and a commitment to the club, no matter who you are, or where you have come from.”
“Nobody wants to have that stigma attached to them, that they were in a Newcastle team which was relegated from the Premiership.”
“We don’t want to be known as the players who let Newcastle United down.” “We’ve got ten massive games left, but we are all pulling in the right direction.”
“The squad here now at Newcastle has got a lot more quality and a lot more experience than the one which got relegated at Leeds.”
“We’re in a position where it’s in our hands, we’re in a position where we can get ourselves out of it.” “At Leeds we were relying on other clubs to slip up, so I think we’re in a much better position.”
As we’ve mentioned probably too many times Smith has not had a good time of things on Tyneside, and in his 39 appearances he still has to score his first senior goal for the club, since his £6M move from Manchester United in August of 2007.
But his fighting character and never-say-die attitude both on and off the pitch, is good for any side, and it’s good to have Alan back in the fray. Certainly if Wednesday night is anything to go by, the lad could be getting some of his form back too, which is just what the club needs.
“It has been difficult to spend so long in the treatment room when the club has been through so much, but I knew it was a serious injury when I went for the operation, so you prepare yourself.”
“I hadn’t played a first-team game in nine months, but there was no better game to come back than against Manchester United.”
“It’s been hard for everyone this season and I’m not going to moan about my injury.” “I feel good, although obviously I need matches, it’s as simple as that.”
“I will give this club absolutely everything I can give them to make sure we stay in the Premiership. No player wants to have a relegation on their CV, let alone two.”
Newcastle have again under-achieved this season, and one reason is that we just haven’t had a big enough squad to last through the very bad injury spell we get every year, for whatever reason.
Our bad injury record is one reason our squad should be bigger than most in the Premier League, although as we all know, we tempted fate last September, by starting with a squad that was far too small, and we could be paying the ultimate price for that lack of foresight.
“When there is so much going on at a club, and there are so many injuries, it is incredibly frustrating not being able to do anything to help. It’s like when you’re playing, it’s easier when you’re winning, but really tough when results aren’t going well.”
“There are still six or seven players missing at the moment, if we can get people fit and Kevin Nolan back from suspension, we have a good squad. People outside don’t realize just how many injuries we’ve had this season.”
After the defeat on Wednesday is that the Newcastle fans have 10 days to wait for the next game, which is one of our most crucial of the season at Hull City, and if we cannot win there, we’ll be in deep trouble indeed.
No more excuses – we need to start winning games – or else get relegated.