Allardyce names Smith skipper
Sam Allardyce has confirmed that Alan Smith will be Newcastle's captain in the absence of club skipper Geremi.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 27/12/07 2:17pm
Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce has confirmed that Alan Smith will be his permanent captain in the absence of club skipper Geremi.
Smith wore the captain's armband in the 1-0 Boxing Day defeat to Wigan which sparked rumours that Geremi, who also started the game, had been axed.
However, Cameroon international Geremi is set to depart for the African Cup of Nations in January and Allardyce has said Smith will take up the vacant captain's role.
"It's a permanent decision for now because obviously Geremi is going away to the African Nations," Allardyce told Newcastle's official website.
"We need to establish for a while somebody who can captain the side on a regular basis with the attitude, desire and commitment that Alan shows.
"We need to see that from all the players because we cannot win a Premier League match without that level of commitment from everyone."
Meanwhile, Geremi - whose form has been questioned this season - insists he has not been permanently stripped of the armband and the midfielder remains confident he will be reappointed as skipper upon his return to St James' Park.
"Alan will be captain when I am away at the African Nations," Geremi told the Newcastle Chronicle.
"The manager told me the decision for him to be captain was to get him ready for the responsibility while I'm gone. As far as I know that is the case."
Geremi has also revealed his disappointment at the defeat to Wigan, which brought to an end Newcastle's four-game unbeaten run, but insists he and his team-mates must bounce back when they travel to Chelsea on Saturday.
"We are disappointed because it brings to an end our unbeaten run," he added. "It is a big disappointment because we didn't expect Wigan to beat us.
"We must keep our chins up as we have a big game with Chelsea. We need to recover very quickly."