It seems that Joe Kinnear will settle just to keep Newcastle in the Premier league this season, and that’s one reason the January transfer window is so important ot the Tyneside club this season.
Mike Ashley – persuaded to strengthen side in January
Joe was asked if he thought he would have done the job if he can guarantee survival for the Tyneside club and he said today:
“Yeah,” “Because then I’d have done the job, we’d have stayed up.”“If we put our best team out I think we’ll do well in the FA Cup.”
“People keep telling me we’ve got a tough draw in the third round (at Hull City) but I think we’re capable of getting something from it.”
“I said from the minute I walked in here we were in a relegation battle,” “We had four points. What else do you do? That was a fact.”
Kinnear seems to have had no trouble in getting the Newcastle players to realize quickly, they were not too good to go down, and he got good performances out of the team almost immediately.
But we have still squandered points with far too many draws that could (should) have been wins, so we are still 4th bottom of the league right now.
And Joe seems to have done a good job in getting it through to Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias that they just have strengthen the squad in January to ensure we stay in the Premier league.
“I’ve made it clear to Mike and Derek (Llambias, Newcastle’s managing director) and I said to them before the injuries we’ve got that if there was any stage where we lost four players we are knackered because of the strength in depth.”
“As I said to Mike, he’s got to protect his assets as well. It must be a massive loss financially to go down. It makes sense to me.”
“I think he has realized the potential seriousness now,” “The easy thing is to say bad luck, bad luck, bad luck but that is going to do nothing for you.”
“Every manager has had a go (at building a squad), they’ve bought five, six, seven players in. I haven’t had chance to do that. I’d like to buy six or seven.”
Kinnear has a reputation as a fighter, and the Newcastle fans have seen that in spades since Joe arrived. But at Wimbledon, Joe did surprisingly well in keeping the London club away from the relegation zone, when he had minimal funds to spend.
“The lowest I finished was seventh from bottom,” “We always planned to get something like 26 points on the board by Christmas. We were never in the bottom four at Christmas.”
“This season I think teams will need about 42, 43 points to stay up,” “That’s as the current form is going at the moment with everybody battling for every point there is.”
“It depends on what effect the (transfer) window has on all the other sides, whether they’re in a position to strengthen up or whether they lose key players. That will have a big say in what position teams finish in.”
We have 16 points right now with 4 games remaining this year – Portsmouth away, Tottenham home, Wigan away and Liverpool at home.
So if we are to get close to 26 points, we’ll have to win three of those next four games. While that’s not impossible, it’s asking a lot, given the poor form we’ve shown at home of late.
But five (or more) good players in during the January transfer window will go a very long way in ensuring that Ashley has a Premier League team to sell in the summer.
Staying up – and winning the FA Cup would be good enough for this season – wouldn’t it? 😀