Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Winning Title with Toon Will Mean Just as Much to Me as THIS; Al: Toon Title Just Means So Much

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Winning Title with Toon Will Mean Just as Much to Me as THIS; Al: Toon Title Just Means So Much

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER

ALAN SMITH has underlined how much winning the Coca-Cola Championship would mean to him.

Smith and his Toon colleagues faced a gruelling eight-hour coach trip to Devon yesterday and were taking in the sunny conditions here in Plymouth ahead of the game tonight.

However, while one of the longest treks in the Football League comes with the season almost over, Smith says it is business as usual for ultraprofessional United.

And with the Championship trophy in touching distance for the Magpies with only a point required, Smith told the Chronicle today: "You don't get opportunities to win trophies every week.

"It will mean as much to me as winning the Premier League at Man United.

"I've played a big part in what's happened this season.

"When we were relegated, everyone was seeing it as the world coming to an end.

That's how you feel - that there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

"This season has proved it's a good competitive league. We've respected every team we've played against.

"I think it's given the city a team to be proud of at the minute."

United were still unclear about their plans to return to Tyneside tomorrow due to the air chaos caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

But Smith hopes that whatever mode of travel Newcastle use to get home, their trip will be a jubilant one.

He added: "It's a long bus ride, but it could be a good journey back!

"It will be a difficult game, but we're used to playing on bad pitches now.

"When we went to Plymouth in the FA Cup it was a bad pitch.

"However, this should be a good occasion.

"We've got to go about our jobs as we have done all season.

"Kev (Kevin Nolan) and Harps (Steve Harper) have spoken about it.

"The attitude the lads have shown from the start of the season won't change - we want to win as many games as possible. …

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