Alan Smith showed up to play against Manchester United last Wednesday in his first start of the season, and both Alan and Geremi put in a courageous and strong performance to match the great Manchester United midfield, in which Wallsend-born Michael Carrick looked terrific.
Alan Smith – excellent play against Man United
Alan played in defensive midfield against Man United, where he switched there for the Red Devils a few seasons back, and at one point looked like he may become a regular there for the Manchester club.
Chris Hughton believes Smith has the right character to have around the place, as Newcastle fight desperately to stay in the Premier League, for the third successive season.
We are in 5th bottom place, with Portsmouth and Blackburn beneath us, but those two clubs both have a game in hand on us, so we are in the unenviable position of having to catch up other teams, as far as points go.
Reflecting on Smith’s efforts against Man United, Hughton said:
“Coming into a game of that magnitude speaks volumes for him.”
“Alan is a player who can play off the front – of course, originally he was a forward player – but we have used him as a midfielder.”
“He can give us a fit and enthusiastic body that’s good around the place, and he also gives us valuable options.”
“And that’s at a time when we’re going to need as many players fit and available as possible.”
Before he started against his former club, Smith had three Reserve team games and then a 10-minute first-team substitute role in the 0-0 draw with Everton, in which Alan looked lively.
While it will take a few games to get fully match fit Alan did just great last Wednesday, and he put in a good 82 minutes on the night, before he tired.
“We got a bit longer out of him than we actually thought we would do. I think probably the type of game that it was – with that extra support from the fans – probably got him going.
“To get 75 minutes or whatever it was out of him, I think we were fortunate to do that “And I thought he did really well considering it was his first start of the season.”
“He’s been involved in three reserve games, but the amount of football he’s played, and the amount of training he has done, hasn’t been what he would have liked.”
We have yet to see Alan at his best in the Newcastle colors, but his play last Wednesday was really encouraging and he played so well.
And of course Alan has been a fighter his whole career, and those are some of the characteristics the rest of the lads need to show quickly, if we are going to get the necessary points to survive.
It looks like 12 points and 4 wins could do it for us, but we’d like to see the team go on a decent run of results like they did last year, and not go right down to the last few games, down to the wire, before we are safe.
That wouldn’t be good on Geordie nerves – that’s for sure – in fact it’s not too good right now. 😀
That’s the very least the Newcastle fans deserve after sticking so well with the team under just ridiculous circumstances off the pitch.
The Geordie people have once again shown they are the very best in the land.