Following the news yesterday that Newcastle players were hoping that an experienced manager would come in to save Newcastle in their relegation fight, Chris Hughton has come out today and said the players do support him.
C hris Hughton with Joe Kinnear earlier this season
It was the gossip paper The Sun that carried the report yesterday from that Newcastle insider, who said the players would like Terry Venables to come in and save the side, and that while the players respected Chris Hughton for his coaching abilities at Newcastle, he was no manager.
Hughton said today:
“To be honest with you, I just dismiss it,” “I have got a job to be getting on with, just as everybody else at the club has.” “In these times you’re going to get differences of opinion, hear stories that you don’t like, get reactions you don’t like.”
“If you take notice of what you hear or read then you’re not going to be able to do your job to the best of your ability.” “It doesn’t worry me in the slightest that a player has supposedly said these things.”
“The only thing you can react to is facts. At the moment there is no fact to anything that’s been written or from the sources it’s supposedly coming from.”
“All I can react to is reality, and the reality is we are where we are in the table and we get on with that. I am convinced I still have the dressing room behind me 100%.”
There’s no doubt Chris is doing his very best in a job he hardly likes, and is not good at, so it’s hard to fault him for that.
Kinnear is expected back in the dugout in mid-April, and even for the Stoke City game on April 11th, and if he can talk to the players before the game and at half time, that would certainly help the Newcastle players, who seem to be lacking real inspiration in these games, which are so important for the Newcastle club.
But it’s also asking a lot of a man who will be returning from a severe triple bypass surgery, to come in and save the side with just 6 games to go, when Newcastle will most likely be in the bottom three, although Kinnear has always said he is confident he can do the job this season, and keep the famous Tyneside club in the Premier League.
But we have to say we think Mike Ashley and company are taking a big risk with Newcastle’s Premier League status by continuing to rely on a very unsuccessful Chris Hughton, with his record in charge of the club so dire. If Mike Ashley and company are not sweating bricks right now – they should be.
Joe Kinnear may be able to take full charge of the team for the April 19th trip to his former club Tottenham Hotspur, and because that is relatively close, in terms of games, that is probably the reason the club will stick with Chris until then, but in the last 5 games Newcastle have lost 13 points in the relegation struggle, and that could be telling come the end of May.
As we’ve said before Newcastle are playing with fire, and we could get critically burned if we’re not careful – we’re already in the intensive care unit.