Newcastle boss Allardyce delighted with Smith form

Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce is delighted with Alan Smith's current form.

Smith is still waiting for his first Toon goal after 16 appearances.

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But Allardyce said: "Alan's last two performances have been his best in a Newcastle shirt. He gives us something different. He has a desire to upset the opposition's defences and then use his ability. My other strikers want to use their ability against the opposition defence before they use their physical capabilities.

"Alan tests a defender's resolve first, then uses his abilities to start most of the attacks after that. He did that against Arsenal and it was very important to us. He upset their two central defenders and that gave us the momentum we needed to build some constant pressure throughout the second half.

"Ultimately, that led to our goal and the point we thoroughly deserved.

"And we have also seen Martins proving more effective in these last couple of games. Alan will do a job anywhere for the team and we want all the players to be like that. I didn't sign him specifically as a striker. I signed him because he wanted to play football.

"He wanted to play football in any position that you picked him because he was sick and tired of not being involved."

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