Venables unconcerned with penalty miss
By Nic Evans. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
ALAN SMITH won the backing of his manager Terry Venables, despite missing the penalty that potentially cost Leeds a point at Blackburn.
Smith, who made such an impressive England debut, fluffed his lines from 12 yards in front of the watching Sven-Goran Eriksson as Brad Friedel saved with some ease.
Garry Flitcroft scored the only goal of the game, yet Venables must have been wondering what might have been as Danny Mills stepped up to take the penalty, only for Smith to take control of the situation.
Venables explained: "Ian Harte is our normally penalty taker, but I had just substituted him.
"I thought it would be between Smith and Mills, but I have not had the chance to talk to the lads yet.
"They are both capable of scoring a penalty, but on this occasion Smith did not. Nobody is going to be more disappointed than he.
"At least he just carried on playing. He is doing very well this season. Upset as he was about it, I don't think it will affect his form.
"He worked very hard throughout the game and I was pleased with his overrall performance."
Blackburn manager Graeme Souness revealed: "Brad Friedel has a dozen penalties taken against him in training every week and he saves half of them."