It seems that Chris Hughton is anxious to remain in charge while Joe Kinnear is away.
Chris Hughton with Joe Kinnear
Chris wants the chance to get over the bad time that he and Newcastle had, immediately following Kevin Keegan’s leaving the club, last September.
Hughton admits that taking over when Kevin Keegan left the club, when the Toon Army was in uproar, not to mention the players, was an almost impossible job.
But Chris, quite rightly, feels he has the chance to show what he can do over the next few weeks, and he will be given his chance at least for a couple of games.
How long he remains in charge will depend on the results Chris and Colin Calderwood are able to achieve, and Mike Ashley will not sit idly by if the results start going against us.
The prime motivation this season is to stay in the Premier League and then there will be some solid strengthening of the squad this summer, and hopefully we’ll be in a much better position come September.
That’s the hope in any case.
Chris talked to the Newcastle Journal this morning:
“We all feel for Joe and wish him well,” “The ideal scenario, and the one that we all want to see, is Joe back amongst things before the end of the season.”
“He’s out for a period of at least two months but when he can actually come back, that is a matter for the doctors.”
“Until then I’ve been told that nothing will change – I’ll look after the side assisted by Colin Calderwood. I don’t know what has been said elsewhere, but that is something that has been said to me.”
“It is different. I have been in this position before but the circumstances are very different now,” “What I was aware of is that last time I took the reins it was a very difficult period.”
“Kevin had just gone, the first game I took was against the backdrop of protests and there was a fair amount of indecision from the players, they didn’t know what was going to happen. It coincided with key players being missing.”
“At this stage, as a group, we’re in a better position now than we were then. I’m more comfortable and more confident now than I was then.”
One of the things that worked well for Newcastle when Joe came in, was that Chris seemed to work hand in glove with Kinnear, and they managed to right the ship under terrible conditions.
We did well through the game with Tottenham (2-1 win) but then had a bad Christmas when we lost at Wigan and then the disaster at home to to Liverpool, and that coincided with having so many of our players out injured.
Hughton will now have new players to choose from, with Peter Lovenkrands having already proved his role as a striker (he looked excellent at WBA), and both Ryan Taylor and Kevin Nolan have hit the ground running, which is good news for the club.
So things are a lot better than they were, but that’s not saying too much, because last September things were unbelievably bad.