Saturday, 30 July 2011

Welcome home Smithy!

Newcastle midfielder Alan Smith is expecting to receive a rocky reception when he makes an emotional return to Elland Road on Sunday.Leeds supporters have never forgiven Smith for turning his back on his hometown club to join Manchester United, and the 30-year-old was booed repeatedly when Newcastle faced the Yorkshire side in a friendly at St James’ Park two years ago.Sunday’s game represents Smith’s first return to Elland Road since he left in 2004, and while Leeds boss Simon Grayson has discussed signing him in a possible loan move, the ex-England international is bracing himself for a rough ride from the club’s supporters.

“I don’t know what the reception will be,” said Smith.

“We played them at St James’ Park two seasons ago and I got a bad one then, so I am expecting the same at Elland Road.

“I have been back to watch games, but never as a player.

It is not something I have really wanted to do to be honest.

I have a great affiliation with the club, they brought me through the game. I was an academy player and a senior player when I left.

“I am not going to go into details as to the destination I went to. I don’t want to touch on it. People will express how they feel and I know that.”

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