Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has told The Northern Echo that his players should try to follow the example of Vladimir Smicer.
Benitez worked with Smicer at Liverpool and won the Champions League together in 2005.
The former Czech Republic international attacking midfielder came off the substitutes’ bench to score a crucial goal and help the Reds win the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan.
Smiler left Liverpool at the end of the 2004-05 season as his contract was not renewed, but even during the campaign he was very professional and committed despite uncertainty over his future.
Benitez has suggested that the current Newcastle players who have similar uncertainties over their futures should use the former Liverpool midfielder as an example to fight for the team.
“I was telling people in the final (with Liverpool in 2005), 'If you are not playing, maybe you can be important in the future, so carry on doing your job’,” the Spaniard told The Northern Echo. “And Smicer - he scored the second goal – he was a player who was not playing too many games, but he was scoring in the final.
“So every single player here, they can give you something. Maybe in the last game they can score the winning goal or make a save, and maybe it will be the crucial save or the crucial goal. If they can do that, I will be really pleased because we will be really strong.”
Newcastle are fighting for survival in the Premier League at the moment, and there is a real danger that they could get relegated to the Championship at the end of the season.
It is important that each and every single player in squad does the best he can between now and the end of the season.