Smith scores for reserves
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Alan Smith was on the scoresheet for Manchester United's reserves against BoltonAlan Smith was on the scoresheet for Manchester United's reserves against Bolton, but received criticism from FA chief executive Brian Barwick for snubbing England.
The former Leeds man had been offered the chance to link up with the England squad for the midweek friendly with Denmark, but he felt playing 90 minutes for United's reserves would be of greater benefit as he attempts to increase his match sharpness.
Smith took just 10 minutes to justify his decision as he netted the opening goal in the 3-0 win.
The 24-year-old was deployed in a midfield role, which would appear to suggest that Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson sees Smith's future for the club in the middle of the park.
Smith's decision to put club before country has led to criticism from FA chief Barwick.
"Alan Smith was given an opportunity to play for England and chose to play elsewhere," said Barwick. "It's not probably the cleverest thing he's done.
"I never got the opportunity to play for England, so turning down the opportunity is perhaps disappointing."
Wes Brown was another United first team regular to take part on Monday, with the defender on his way back to fitness from an Achilles injury.