Smith fit for the fight
Magpies forward declares himself fit for relegation fight
By Richard Bailey. Last Updated: April 20, 2009 1:28pm
Smith: Back in the fold
Alan Smith has declared himself fit and ready to help Newcastle in their bid to avoid the drop.
The forward came off the bench at White Hart Lane on Sunday to make only his fourth appearance of the season after a campaign spent mostly on the sidelines.
Injuries have plagued the 28-year-old ever since he suffered a horrendous leg break and ankle dislocation at Anfield while playing for Manchester United in February 2006.
The former Leeds youngster, who signed for the Magpies for £6million in August 2007, is yet to find the net in a Newcastle shirt but he is confident he can help make a difference in the remaining five games of the season.
"I've been injured eight months and it takes a while," he told the club's official website.
"I spoke to the manager when he came in and he said he wanted me to be a big part of this squad.
"I've played a few more reserve games since he came in and I feel good. I want to be a part of this squad and try and help Newcastle United stay in this division.
"It's only my fourth game of the season. It's been frustrating having to watch the lads and not been able to help them.
"Hopefully we can get our heads down and build on the second-half performance because that was a performance of a set of lads who are determined to stay in this division and anyone watching will see that."
The 1-0 defeat to Tottenham leaves the club four points from safety and Smith pinpoints the Magpies' next game at home to Portsmouth as a must win.
"We have to put the Tottenham game behind us now and get ready for Monday night against Portsmouth," he added.
"The three home games are massive - everyone understands that.
"We'll have 52,000 fans right behind us and those three games could determine our season.
"Everybody knows we have to win on Monday. There can be no sitting back we'll have to go for it, we need three points.
Put it into practice
"But it's one thing talking about it, we've got to put in the performance to get the three points."
Smith also highlights the importance of making sure they do not fall behind as has been the case in their last five Premier League matches.
"We give ourselves a mountain to climb week in and week out and I think that's what the gaffer will want to try and put right," he explained.
"In this league no matter who you are, even if you are the best team in the league, it's always difficult when you go behind."