Smith boosts Toon for Rams clash

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton expects to have midfielder Alan Smith available for the visit of Derby in the Championship on Monday evening.

Last Updated: 27/12/09 at 14:14

Smith: Back for Magpies

Smith: Back for Magpies

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Smith missed the 2-2 Boxing Day draw at Sheffield Wednesday with an ankle knock, but he should return to contention against the Rams at St James' Park (kick-off 5.20pm).

Hughton said: "It would have been too big a risk to play him (against Wednesday) but he'll be available on Monday."

Joey Barton (foot) is edging closer to fitness but will not be involved, while Hughton has no fresh injury problems to contend with.

Andy Carroll replaced Shola Ameobi for the last 20 minutes of the Owls clash and will be hoping for a more prominent role, although Ameobi has scored in each of his last four games.

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