Hughton: We need Smith in the team

27 October 2009 01:31
Newcastle caretaker manager Chris Hughton is looking forward to welcoming back "the heartbeat of the team" when Alan Smith returns at Sheffield United next Monday night.

The former Leeds and Manchester United midfielder missed the 2-1 victory over Doncaster at St James` Park last Saturday through suspension after receiving his fifth booking of the season in the loss at Scunthorpe the previous Tuesday.

Hughton told the club`s official website: "Alan Smith is a big player for us and he was disappointed to miss out at Doncaster.

"In hindsight, you would rather have all your players available but the type of player Alan is, and due to his competitive nature, it goes with the territory.

"We want him available but we also want him to continue what he does for the team.

"He has often been the heartbeat of the team this season and we wouldn`t want to change any of that. His competitive nature is also something fans like to see."

Source: Eurosport

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