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Monday, 13 November, 2000, 15:34 GMT
'Sensible' Smith chooses rest
Alan Smith and Frank Leboeuf
Smith believes he will get another opportunity to play for England
Alan Smith has turned down the opportunity to make his debut for England against Italy, believing the decision to withdraw from the squad is a sensible one.

The Leeds striker would almost certainly have played some part in the friendly in Turin on Wednesday, but he pulled out after picking up a knock against Chelsea.

That injury, combined with Leeds manager David O'Leary's belief that the 20-year-old star needs rest, was enough to convince caretaker England boss Peter Taylor to allow the striker to withdraw.

Smith said on his personal website: "Having to pull out of the England squad for Wednesday's friendly international against Italy in Turin is obviously a blow for me.


I have time on my side so hopefully I can earn another chance with England
  Alan Smith
"The chance of playing in a full international at my age really appealed to me. But I know I've done the sensible thing in pulling out.

"We had a very hard game at Chelsea and I got a knock on an ankle that was pretty sore afterwards.

"I also damaged my shoulder so I had to accept that I'd be better off staying back and getting treatment in readiness for our Premiership home game against West Ham on Saturday.

"The gaffer had a word with Peter Taylor about my injuries and also told him that I'd played in a lot of games this season.

"Peter Taylor understands the situation and from my point of view that was nice. I'm still very young and I have time on my side so hopefully I can carry on doing well for Leeds United and earn another chance with England."

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