The 27-year-old England international Alan Smith and his team-mates head for Blackburn Rovers tomorrow firmly under the spotlight after a run of four Barclays Premier League games without a victory.
He insists that the recent slumps are not just Big Sam mistake but admit is as the failure of Newcastle United players on the field.
Smith already know what it takes to taste relegation from the top flight with his home-town club Leeds United. Smith knows, not about to allow another unwanted addition to his curriculum vitae this season with Newcastle United.
“We have to stand up and be counted – and in the next few weeks and months, people will see that,” Smith said. “I have been in situations like this before at Leeds when you have success and then disappointment.”
“But it is only the players who can turn things around. The manager has no power once we cross the white line. It is down to us. We are a good team and to be in the top half or top six is where we want to be.”
Smith former Leeds United team mate, Mark Viduka has promised there is more to come from him as he searches for his best form after a succession of injuries have limited him to just eight starts for his new club to date.
Viduka’s double in the 3-1 victory over West Ham on September 23, and followed by his strike at former club Middlesbrough a month earlier, illustrated his potency in front of goal. The 32-year-old is desperate to rediscover his form which brought 19 goals in his final season at the Riverside Stadium.
“I’m very happy to be training and playing as normal. It has been stop-start.” Viduka told the Gazette, “I was happy with my form last season and I was looking – and still am looking – to keep on going from there.”