Mick Hartford On Joe Kinnear’s Fighting Qualities

Mick Harford played for Joe Kinnear At Wimbledon from 1994 until 1998, and in 1999 was Kinnear’s assistant manager at Wimbledon, when Joe suffered his heart attack just before the game with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.


Joe Kinnear – fighting Joe has instilled those qualities into his players

So there’s not many football men who are better qualified to comment on Joe Kinnear than Mick.

Harford even played for Newcastle during 1980-1981 during a playing career in which he played for 10 different clubs, that also included Sunderland and Chelsea

Mick took charge of the Wimbledon side for the remainder of that season in 1999. Kinnear and Hartford were then reunited at Luton Town a few years back, and Hartford last year assumed the manager position at Luton Town.

Mick talked today about Joe to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle:

“First and foremost, I’m glad that Joe is OK.” “And the important thing is that he is allowed to get back on his feet – that has to be the main priority for him and his family.”

“Knowing Joe like I do though, he’ll want to get on with his work, he’ll want to put Newcastle first.” “He will want to finish the job he came to Newcastle to try to do – and that was to keep Newcastle in the Premier League.”

“Regard-less of what people say, he’s helped to do that so far.”

Kinnear complained of not feeling too well when he awoke a week last Saturday at 5:30 am, the day of our crucial game at WBA, and of course he was taken to hospital and missed the game.

The lads pulled off  a great 3-2 win at The Hawthorns that day, and pulled 5 points clear of bottom placed West Brom.

The victory helped Newcastle reach the 27-point mark and Harford feels that Kinnear has already played a big part in Newcastle’s survival this season.

Mick continued:

“Joe took the job that nobody wanted.” “He’s showed enormous character and he’s taken a few hits for the team.”

“That’s the type of bloke Joe is.” “When you look at the situation he inherited and all of those injuries, he’s done really well.”

What was really great to see at WBA was the way in which the players stepped up to the plate for the game, in Kinnear’s absence, and seemed to play for Joe in that game, and we were 3-1 up at half time.

We’re quite sure that provided a big lift to Joe, as he was holed up in hospital, and his grandson was keeping him updated on the score-line.


Mick Hartford – Luton Town manager

Newcastle United’ s players hope to continue that siege mentality and fighting spirit instilled by Kinnear, and Harford feels that can help them win it against Everton, which would be an almighty 3 points if we can get the victory.

The Luton Town boss continued:

“I’m not surprised that the players have taken a bit of a shine to Joe.” “He’s an excellent man-manager and it’s been refreshing to hear the players show how much they wanted to win for him.”

“He knows how to deal with certain characters in the dressing room.” “Newcastle can beat Everton in front of their own fans on Sunday and they are another step closer.”

“When Joe’s squad are fully fit they have played well and players are coming back now.” “He’s got two capable guys in Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood looking after things now and they’ll do a good job in his absence.”

We really need a win against Everton on Sunday and we’ll be helped by both Tim Cahill and Tony Hibbert missing that game with 5 yellow cards.

A win and we could be really flying before the tough games coming up against Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, but anything is possible in those games, since they are all at home.

And we’re quite sure the lads will use the 5-1 trouncing we received from Liverpool in late December, to spur them on to take some points from these other top four sides.

Comments welcome.

8 comments so far

  • rooks

    Feb 17, 2009 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #1

    everyone says nice things when people are ill.
    Without wanting to sound heartless, little of what he’s said is true (the WBA match was terrible, Hughton is not capable..) bad me

  • lesh

    Feb 17, 2009 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #2

    Joe’s got to realise, he’s now had three bites at life’s cherry (birth and two heart attacks) and he really must get his priorities into perspective.

    Similarly, the Board ought to be responsible in their actions. If they keep him in at the sharp end, the pressure end, do they want to be the ones responsible if his family lose him completely?

    Joe’s fighting spirit is admirable and he could be kept in the club in some less stressful capacity…… but they need to be thinking of an appointment sooner rather than later.

    Take it easy Joe!!

  • waddler

    Feb 17, 2009 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #3

    I like Joe Kinnear, especially when he gave the press a mouthful and threatened them with court action. That would have lifted the teams spirits no-end.
    Joe would struggle to manage us before the end of the season and I believe he should be offered another role at the club as soon as he is ready to return, rewarding him for his role in steadying the boat.
    Next season we need a manager who can stand the strain (sorry Joe but your family are more important than football) and that man must be told the long, medium and short term plans honestly.
    Our next manager will probably be the most important appointment Newcastle United have ever made, and my personal preference would be Martinez at Swansea but Bruce will probably be the choice of Ashley and the board.
    Les Ferdinand wrote an intelligent piece this morning and he believes we need to be planning for the next 5 years and I would agree with that. We need to bring in players who are hungry and young and preferably British not to win the league but to keep us in the premiership over the medium term.
    The final part will be to continue the drive of producing top class youth who can break into the first team in 3-5 years although I expect some of our current youngsters such as Lua Lua, Ranger, Vukic, and may be one or two others to be in or pushing strongly soon.
    If all this is done we would then be in a position to add the icing to the cake with a Keegan type inspirational leader/player to help take the players up another level.

  • Toronto_Toon

    Feb 17, 2009 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #4

    I largely agree with Waddler here.

    The board has made some disastrous gaffes that have threatened the club this year, and we may yet go down, which will be catastrophic. Even if we do stay up, some fans will remain suspicious until NUFC win something – and that’s a few years down the road yet.

    But they’ve also acted responsibly to the club over the long haul. They’re weaning the club off its dependence on debt, and they’re investing in the academy. All Toon supporters should be cheered by this departure from the Hall/ Shepherd regime.

    To make the next step though, we need a manager that can conceivably be on board with us in five years time, who will grow with the club. JK has proved a steady hand at the helm when freefall threatened the club. He deserves our thanks for that, particularly when his health has suffered.

    But no one seriously sees him as anything more than a temporary measure. To insure continuity, which is the recipe for success at all good clubs, we need to bring in a manager with time on his side. I’m not sold on Steve Bruce. Ketsbaia and Shearer have stronger regional credentials.

    But I’d be happy to see someone like Jol or even Martinez appointed. Van Gaal is fantasy football stuff, though I’d happily indulge in it.

  • waddler

    Feb 17, 2009 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #5

    Well said Toronto_Toon.

    The future means developing a long term plan, removing debt, and producing top class youth, and a manager who will grow with the team.
    Ashley will need to totally honest with the supporters and manager and communicate steadily and forcefully until the fans have little doubt of Ashley’s intentions.
    The fans need to be above all patient, and allow the youth to develop (and make mistakes) before we can become serious challengers for Europe or the premiership.

  • workyticket

    Feb 17, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #6

    I hope you prove the idiots wrong Joe.


    Feb 17, 2009 at 5:35 PM

    Comment #7

    what does everyone think of mark hughes? i don’t think he’s gona last long at the middleastlands.

    and roeder? was he truely crap or was he unlucky with injuries? remember he did bring in martins.

    this is a long shot, but sir bobby and mourinho have always had good relationship…if sir bobby calls for him what do you think he’ll say?

  • Toronto_Toon

    Feb 17, 2009 at 10:46 PM

    Comment #8

    I would take Mark Hughes.

    Mourinho would never come to Tyneside, not even for SBR.

    I don’t think so…


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