As we suspected it looks like the big problem with Joe in a couple of weeks is how to keep him away from Newcastle.
Joe Kinnear – apparently he’s feeling better already
Chris Hughton talked about Joe this morning:
“Everything that we’ve heard is good news, he’s recovering very well. He moved into his own room today and his progress has been good,”
“I haven’t spoken to Joe, I have rung him quite a few times but I appreciate where he is and that he’s not going to be accessible. He’s had major surgery and we are only five days post-surgery.”
“But at some stage he will be very much itching to get on that phone and to know what’s happening. At what stage that will be I’m not sure but it’ll no doubt be at the earliest convenience.”
“Joe’s the kind of person who’ll find it hard to take a backward step from it all. He’s the type who’s always very involved, used to being on the training pitch and in the middle of everything.”
“When you’re like that it is difficult. But Joe will be back. The way that we’re looking at it is, the statement we made last week that he’d be away for a two-month period still applies.”
Of course the strange thing with a heart bypass is once the effects of the operation leave you, you immediately feel a lot better than you did, with the blood pumping through your heart a lot better and more blood getting through to the body in general. You seem to have more energy.
But Joe needs to recover fully from the open heart surgery, and also put new diet and exercise procedures in place so he’s not back in the same boat in 5 years time. That should be part of the new copntract – if he decides to take it – keeping himself extra fit for the massive challenge that is Newcastle United manager.
Until the time Joe and his doctors think it’s right for him to come back Chris and Colin Calderwood will be in charge on Tyneside, but we don’t think it will be a full 2 months.
When asked whether the next few months will be the biggest challenge of his coaching career thus far Chris answered:
“I think so, yes,” “You put pressure on yourself because you desperately want to get results, you want this team to be winning football matches.”
“That’s my responsibility for the time being and that’s the pressure you put yourself under.”
“I’ve had experience of being in this position before so I’m quite capable and confident of coping. What we’re sensing here is that things have settled down. The transfer window is over and during that period there’s always speculation about players.
“There was Charles (N’Zogbia), and the Shay Given issue was one which ran for a while, but we’re at the stage now where we know what we’re working with.
“The players who have gone have gone, there’ll be no more players coming in and we have three new players who have acquitted themselves very well.
“The group now have to see it through to the end of the season. We have been through a lot, but I sense that we’re a little bit more stable now, so we can get on with the important matters of playing football matches, playing well and pleasing the supporters.”
“You don’t switch off,” “What goes with the responsibility is the amount of time that you’re thinking about the game, what you need to do to win the next one.”
“You enjoy the moments when you win but you quickly think about the next game. I’m still sleeping though!”
And the news from the FA is they are putting back the FA disciplinary hearing to look at Joe and Phil Brown’s sending-off last month, after their altercation on the sidelines. It’s being delayed on compassionate grounds.
It’s a pity they couldn’t have really been compassionate and just forgot about it, since this will be on Joe’s mind during his recovery, maybe.
But you can never accuse the FA of being sensible, they have their rules and they’ll stick to them.