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Smith honoured by Newcastle captaincy

Alan Smith is delighted to be have been awarded the Newcastle United captaincy.

The 27-year-old led out the side against Derby on Sunday in the absence of Geremi, and with the Cameroon international due to head off on African Nations Cup duty next month, he looks likely to do so again.

Having completed an impressive 'hat-trick', the Leeds-born player is relishing the chance to develop his leadership skills, although he intends to go about it in his own style.

Smith said: "It's a massive honour for me. I have captained all three clubs I have been at - Leeds United, Manchester United and Newcastle now.

"As a captain, you know what's necessary, you know what's wanted from yourself and what you can demand from others.

"That's part of growing up as a footballer, to be honest. People see you as someone other people can follow.

"When I play, it is not about ranting and raving and going on, it is about playing with a commitment and a desire that other people want to follow themselves and set an example for everyone else.

"It gives you that extra lift. It is not like you are carrying the rest of the team, but you are the focal point because you are wearing the armband.

"You have got to make sure that you are 100 per cent week in, week out and not let your standards drop."

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