Hughton hopes Smith stays put
The 30-year-old former Leeds and Manchester United midfielder, who made the transition from striker, has only played four times in the Premier League this season. With Blackburn and Stoke reportedly keen on taking him away from St James' Park when the transfer window opens, speculation has mounted that his Toon career is coming to an end. However, Hughton wants to keep hold of everyone in the squad as he does not expect to have money to spend on new talent. "It is even more important now that we do not lose players. I do not anticipate anyone coming in when the transfer window opens in January and, if that is the case, I do not want anyone going out," he told the Daily Express. "Alan has been a fantastic player for us and, irrespective of whether he is playing or not, he's a good player to have around. "It is always difficult for a player who is not playing when he is used to playing and Smithy is no different. "It is never an easy time but that is the nature of the game."