Alan Smith praises Chris Hughton for Chelsea decision
Sep 24 2010 The Journal
ALAN Smith has praised Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton for being brave enough to field his “other” first team at Chelsea.
The Magpies made ten changes for Wednesday’s League Cup third round tie at Stamford Bridge, yet still became the first team to win there since Inter Milan in March.
As one of the beneficiaries of a policy which also saw Hughton change all 11 players at Accrington Stanley in the Carling Cup’s second round, it was no surprise to hear captain-for-the-night Smith’s endorsement.
But with Sunderland’s Steve Bruce lamenting not “freshening up” his team enough when they exited the competition 24 hours earlier, the midfielder feels the Magpies have ample resources to do just that.
“There’s a lot of lads in this squad desperate to take whatever chance they get,” he said. “It’s almost like we’ve got separate first teams, and you’d hope that’s the attitude everybody adopts.
“It would have been easy to have seen Chelsea in the draw and hardly made any changes at all to the team that won at Everton. But the gaffer knows the depth of ability and he wasn’t worried about giving some of the other lads a chance.
“He showed his faith in a lot of the younger lads, and that faith paid off. There were experienced players as well though.