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Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 12:30 GMT
Smith rejects Championship loan
Alan Smith
Alan Smith is on the recovery trail after a horrific injury
Manchester United striker Alan Smith will snub all offers of a loan move and instead put himself through a punishing personal training regime.

Championship clubs Cardiff and Leeds had hoped to entice Smith to join them as he attempts to regain match fitness.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said on Friday it would be a good idea for the 26-year-old to go out on loan.

However, Smith has informed Ferguson he wishes to remain at Old Trafford and fight for a first-team place.

Ferguson believes Smith needs first-team football to get fully match fit and was happy for Smith to go out to either Leeds or Cardiff to get it.

"He really needs football and reserve-team football is really for the youth team and doesn't present the right challenge for an experienced player like Alan," Ferguson had said.

Despite healing speedily from the horrific leg break he suffered during last season's FA Cup defeat at Liverpool, Smith has not yet recovered fully.

The striker looked exceptionally tired at the end of extra time when United squeezed through in the Carling Cup against Crewe last month.

Smith - a 7m buy after Leeds were relegated from the Premiership in 2004 - then only lasted an hour when United were sent tumbling out of the competition by Southend.

The former Leeds man will now embark on a specially constructed fitness programme, devised by United's coaching staff, which he believes will be enough to push him back to the standard required.

Smith's decision will disappoint Championship leaders Cardiff, who still need cover for the injured Steve Thompson.

New Leeds boss Dennis Wise was also keen to take Smith back to his former Elland Road home.



SEE ALSO
BBC Sport Wales coverage
18 Sep 06 |  Wales
Thompson injury blow hits Cardiff
01 Nov 06 |  Cardiff City
Smith hoping for Man Utd return
07 Sep 06 |  Man Utd
Smith back in action for Man Utd
22 Aug 06 |  Man Utd
Ferguson eyes quick Smith return
24 Feb 06 |  Man Utd
Smith ambulance attack condemned
23 Feb 06 |  Man Utd
Smith describes broken leg agony
20 Feb 06 |  Man Utd
Liverpool 1-0 Man Utd
18 Feb 06 |  FA Cup


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