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Smith: My Toon Carling Dream

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ALAN Smith says that it would be a "dream come true" if he were to reach the final of the Carling Cup with Newcastle United after the heartache of missing Manchester United's victory in the same compeition because of his horror leg injury.


The 26-year-old was set to play in the Red Devils' 4-0 final win over Wigan Athletic in the 2005/06 season, but dislocated his ankle and broke his leg in an FA Cup tie at Anfield just weeks early - an injury described by Sir Alex Ferguson as one of the worst he'd ever seen.


Smith's Man Utd team-mates wore t-shirts with the words "For you Smudge" printed on the front when they were presented with the trophy at the Millennium Stadium.


And, while the Toon star admits he was touched by that gesture, the likeable Yorkshireman says that there will be no better way to get over that disappointment than by going all the way with the Magpies this time around.


"It would be a dream to play in the final," said Smith as he and his United team-mates prepare to face Arsenal in the Third Round on Tuesday night.


"I was going to play in that final with Man Utd but missed out because of my injury.


"That was the nicest thing the players could've done (wear the t-shirts), but I'd rather have been playing.


"That was a difficult time for me but it's in the past and I'd love to go all the way with Newcastle this season.


"To win the Carling Cup you have to beat the best teams and Arsenal are certainly one of those at the moment.


"But we go there full of confidence after the West Ham game and hopefully with a game plan that can get a result.


"There's a real spirit among the boys at the moment and we'll need that on Tuesday because it will be a tough game, especially having played just 48 hours earlier."

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