Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Drop Will Make Us Infamous; Smith Reveals Players' Fears

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Drop Will Make Us Infamous; Smith Reveals Players' Fears

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Edwards

ALAN Smith remains confident Newcastle United will avoid relegation as he revealed none of the squad want to spend the rest of their lives knowing they were responsible for inflicting such a low point on the club.

Smith played his first Premier League game in nine months in the 2-1 defeat by Manchester United on Wednesday.

And the England international's commitment and enthusiasm could be crucial during the Magpies' tension-filled final ten fixtures of the campaign.

The 28-year-old has already suffered the pain of one relegation in his career with home-town club Leeds United in 2004 - a disaster the Whites are still trying to recover from in Coca-Cola League One.

And Smith is adamant that there is a determined collective will among Newcastle's players to claw themselves away from trouble as they face up to their fear of being known forever as the United side which crashed into the Championship.

"I'm confident we will stay up, definitely," said Smith, who has recovered from the serious ankle injury he picked up during Newcastle's pre-season preparations.

"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. …

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