A terrific interview in this morning’s News Of The World with Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear, as he talks at length with Andy Dunn, and reveals he has a burning desire to stay at Newcastle United as manager.
Joe Kinnear – seems to love it at Newcastle United
In his five matches in charge of Newcastle United he currently has the following record D D L W W, but that loss was to the old enemy – Sunderland – unfortunately.
Joe has 8 points from 5 games and is pragmatic enough to know that his record will be important when new owners are installed at the club, and at least for the sake of continuity, he has a decent chance of remaining manager until the end of the season.
Newcastle collected only 4 points in their first 6 games, and they were in the first two games of the season, and we were coming off four league defeats in a row – five overall with the loss to Spurs in the Carling Cup at home.
Joe told the NOTW today:
“Since I’ve been here, we’ve managed to improve and improve and improve.” “Whatever happens, I will leave this place in a lot better shape than it was in when I came here. That is for certain.”
“I’m not going to walk out as a loser. I’ll walk out as a winner. I said that to Mike Ashley and I believe that more than ever. There were lots of things missing when I got here. The place was like a morgue and I was not used to it.”
“Wimbledon was an exceptional place. It was on fire every day and full of characters. But now I am seeing more characters here by the day. These players are looking for stability, they are looking for a leader, they are looking for somebody to guide them, looking for somebody to give them confidence.”
“Take Shola Ameobi, for example. He was two seconds away from being sold to Ipswich. He hadn’t scored a goal in two years.” “Since I came here, he has got three and is playing out of his skin.”
“I am very strong and forthright in my views. And we’ve had a look at training as well, myself and Chris Hughton. We’ve got that into top gear now.” “Previous training was more or less the old five-a-sides and head tennis. There was probably other stuff as well but we’ve tightened up on sessions and I think they have gone down very well.”
Kinnear is right that he has done a lot fof good at the club, not least of which is restoring faith and pride in the players who play for Newcastle United.
When he came in late September, Joe told everybody who would listen, what a great club Newcastle was, and how he was honored to be the manager. He meant it and was genuine, and that started to rub off on the players and Joe has got some sterling performances out of the team.
The game against Man City, when we were down to 10 men and 1-0 down very early in the game, will live long in the memory of Newcastle fans, as the lads came storming back to 2-1 ahead, before tired legs allowed Man City to equalize with just 4 minutes remaining. What a game that was for the fans.
Joe was brought in as a stop gap, much like Glenn Roeder, when he took over from Graeme Souness in February, 2006. Glenn did great until the end of his first season, but the following season was less than good, and he was fired in May of last year.
But Joe’s experience of being the Newcastle manager, in a City that is so passionate about their football, has him now longing for the job full time.
“I’ll be absolutely gutted if I don’t get the job,” “There’s no other way to put it. When and if the new people come in, I will be the first to throw my hat into the ring.”
“I’m clever enough to know that results speak for me and results give me a chance.”
“I’ve done the strategy work and if someone else comes in, they can take it off me. I’ve got a hitlist of players. I think we need about four new players and, maybe, move out four.”
But Kinnear is convinced he should remain in charge, and that he can even bring a major trophy to Newcastle — and this season too, something no manager has achieved since Joe Harvey won the Inter-City Fairs Cup, back in 1969.
“My realistic target is to win the FA Cup. I think what I saw against Aston Villa convinces me we can do that.”
“Martin O’Neill said to me: ‘You’ve got a decent outfit, Joe. You’ve got ’em buzzing and playing’. And I agree. No one would want us in a one-off cup tie.”
But there are still some who question whether Joe can take all the stresses and strains on Tyneside, which is one of the toughest jobs in football.
“I’ve had two mild heart attacks. So what? I’m probably fitter than most managers.” “I don’t drink, I look after my weight, I’m medically checked every day.”
“I’m aware of what I can do and can’t do and what I can eat. I’m in as good as shape as anyone.”
And Joe seems to be in good shape mentally, as he continues to prove people wrong. When he first arrived there were many who said he just wasn’t good enough to do anything at Newcastle United.
We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but two wins in the next two games, will put Joe as a big success, and even a hero in his first seven games in charge with 14 points – which would not be too bad at all.