Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Smith: Everyone Wants to Beat Us; Everyone Wants to Beat Us'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Smith: Everyone Wants to Beat Us; Everyone Wants to Beat Us'

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas

ALAN Smith has warned that it will be 'Newcastle United against the world' in the second half of the season. The combative skipper played through the pain of a facial injury in the controversial fourth round defeat at the Hawthorns. But he admits United were left seething by the refereeing decisions which ultimately cost them their FA Cup place. Referee James Linington denied penalties to Ryan Taylor and Shola Ameobi, while Smith himself was targeted by the West Brom crowd as a heated Cup tie threatened to boil over in the second half.

Smith reckons United will have to get used to that kind of welcome in the coming months - because their fine first half of the campaign has left them marked men.

"Saturday proves that everyone wants to beat Newcastle, not just the players but fans as well," he said.

"Sometimes it is an us and them scenario and we have to keep it together, but I think this will make us stronger for the rest of the season. Everyone wants to beat us. We went down fighting - it is never nice, but in football you don't always get what you deserve. I had a bit of banter with some of the fans. There was nothing in it, people shout from the crowd and you expect that it is part of football.

"We showed how strong we are mentally.

This is where we started the season and we have cone a long way since then and we have improved."

The game took its toll on United with Ameobi joining Steven Taylor and Danny Simpson as a doubt for Wednesday's clash with Crystal Palace after departing the Hawthorns with his arm in a sling nursing a shoulder injury.

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton hopes to have Ameobi available but Ryan Taylor is suspended after his second half red card - leaving United short at rightback unless Simpson is rushed back into service. …

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