Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alan Keen to See Don Deal Permanent

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alan Keen to See Don Deal Permanent

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

HIS debut will not be until tonight, but already Alan Smith is keen to make his move to Milton Keynes Dons permanent after sensing a good vibe at his new club.

The 31-year-old is set to make his first appearance in League One at home to Sheffield Wednesday tonight after joining on loan until the end of his Newcastle United contract this summer. Smith (pictured left) will be used as a striker, despite never having scored in 94 mainly midfield appearances for the Magpies.

Leeds United manager Simon Grayson admitted he will consider a move to bring Smith back to his hometown club in the summer, having decided against one before the start of the current campaign.

However, on his first day at Milton Keynes, the player capped 19 times by England was doing his best to discourage him.

Smith said: "As soon as you get a feeling or a belief about a place it is difficult to walk away. "Fingers crossed if stuff does go well and we do get promoted something long-term can hopefully happen.

"You have feelings about places sometimes. When my agent and I came down last Monday we both had that feeling.

"You can take a sidewards step in the Premier League, go to a team in the Championship or come to a team in League One.

"This club has the potential, with or without me here, to get promoted this season."

What put Grayson off was the lack of football Smith has played in the last two seasons.

His final start for Newcastle came in the Wear-Tyne derby of 2010, when he broke his ankle after 36 minutes.

His contribution this term has been two substitute appearances totalling five minutes (plus added time).

Unable to even get a game in the League Cup, he recently complained he was being treated as little more than a cheerleader and sounding board by boss Alan Pardew. …

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